Highway Neurosis

They appear when I drive at night, like dolphins riding a bow wake. Galloping ghosts and loping interlopers, only seen from the corners of my eyes.

Some look like large birds slashing and darting in the darkness, beyond the reach of my headlights. Others appear to be impossibly fast bipeds with matted, dun fur, running on too-long legs. They career and churn about me as if I were the calm center of a storm. While some just drift at the edges, glaring with things where faces should be.

But always they pursue like hounds after a wounded stag. Maybe I am an invader who needs to be repelled. Or maybe they’re just curious. Often, a vaguely familiar figure will appear beside the road and point at me as I pass. A threat gesture or a sign of recognition? I cannot tell the difference, but both possibilities terrify me. Because there are times when I find that I’m a disembodied mind flying through the weary night, chasing lights and forgetting myself, till dawn’s red ascent breaks the spell.

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