Sometimes I feel the necessity for defining my life. I don’t deny that I have not tried to define it, every time I end up on one definition- Staying high around the clock. The reasons are galore; writing, music, gaming and of course my cigarettes and my beer. Although I do wonder perhaps it is all about the toxic smoke entering my lungs and me exhaling it out. On a weekend, after 18 cigarettes and 700 miles on the highway, I realized how attached I was to the notion of smoking. I do not have any justified reason to smoke; no taste or brand preferences, all I know is I love watching smoke flying in front of my eyes.
Precisely, the reason for 18 cigarettes in less than 24 hours is quite obnoxious. Highways are a stage for self-controlled death and I almost performed the best act ever. On a bright moonlit Saturday night on Bangalore- Hyderabad highway my senses assured me everything inside and outside the car was spick and span . The neon spotters on either side of four lane express way were paving the path for me. I was already high on music ten minutes into the drive and was down by two cigarettes. My speedometer indicated 130 k mph, yet another high for me. My adrenalin had started to pump in, but still my wrists and ankles controlled themselves and did not press much harder. I have this unusual ritual on highways of imagining her sitting next to me. I guess her permanent absence caused my mind’s already depleted setup to process things in an absurd manner. All I know is that I love travelling with the imaginary person, the person who by all means is just a mere figment of my imagination. In reality, she is beyond my grasp and reach. It was in midst of all these imaginary moments, my brother screamed “speed breaker “.
My figment of imagination vaporized in front of my eyes, she smiled as she disappeared for a while. I panicked in the loud commotion; my feet were glued to both the accelerator and the brakes. The tires screeched begging for mercy. They were pleading for freedom. I looked to the left, a truck was slowing down before the speed breaker. In the rear view mirror, I could see another sedan closing in on me. I cannot comprehend what happened next. The car flew as it crashed into the speed breaker at 90 k mph. My hands floated and lost the grip of steering wheel. My head banged into the ceiling. My vision was blurred for about two seconds. My body was not in contact with the driver’s seat, it was enjoying in midair. I thought it all came down to this, years of education, years of perseverance and years of ensuring safety on road going down the drain. It is really amazing how swiftly the mind processes thoughts during the final few moments. I saw her again, crying in the classroom and running away from me, smiling at me from a distance, waving her hands as her bus passed by me. Life really does flashback when you know the end is near.
Thud!! The car found what it had lost, ground. I looked at the speedometer, still going strong at 70 k mph. My brother must have shouted at me from the navigator’s seat. I do not remember that, I do not remember my car jumping off the speed breaker, traversing in air for more than two seconds or the burnt rubber smell from my tires. I just remember how I once again realized what is important to me more than my life, the figment of my imagination I carry everywhere with me. There is no possibility reality might take over my imagination. When I was HIGH ON HIGHWAY, the Creator stroked my mind. I think he just loves to play with me