Along the Lines

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Empty roads felt more alive than home tonight. Streetlights persisted in their chores, shining light upon deserted sidewalks that were home to few things more than fluttering gum wrappers and leaves. I was the only car at the intersection, ridiculously waiting for the traffic lights to switch in my favor. I was mesmerized by the stillness of it all. Signs of life had ceased, yet the lights lent the shadows a distinct quality of adventure, perhaps life itself.
Those shadows told stories of the road. Perhaps of buildings that had fallen years before, or of families that owned the shops that lined one side of the road. The shadows posed as the people that once were. Their voiced were muted in the midnight air, their stories untold and saved for the nights and the lighthouses that gave them their breath.
Marks on the road itself brought forth images of twisted metal and tragedies not meant to be. The everyday danger we shrug off as we drive to our respective places of work seemed so much more tangible as I stared at skid marks and indents in the pavement. Was it carelessness or simply fate that caused those tires to pop, or the brakes to give out at that last moment, or that prompted one tired drunk to stumble to his car and fumble his way home?
So many questions flickered through my mind that I missed my light. Foolishly I blinked at the newly yellow, then red signal as the lights and shadows taunted me further. My imagination had followed that white line much further than necessary for one’s sanity. Hours on the road, away from whatever I chose to call home seemed better than imprisonment within the walls of suburbia. The empty business districts and shopping centers felt more welcoming. Most of all, these lights felt more welcoming, with their yellow warmth that gave some sort of life to the emptiness. I couldn’t tell if it was the emptiness of the intersection or myself that was filled, but it was comforting all the same.
I blinked in time to catch my light, and I sped past that intersection to my unknown destination. I shook off my odd thoughts, and focused on the winding white line. It twisted and led me off, further away from my restlessness, closer to some peace of mind.





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