I wasn't out on the road for the speed, or the thrill or even to travel. Or to meet new people, take part in their lives or simply to enjoy the moment, alone on my own. I didn't yet know why I was out for the almost three days now. Maybe to belong, maybe to un-belong. I didn't know.
The past two days were just the same, long winding roads, green all around, occasional people crossing my path, occasional cars overtaking me, occasional rains that I always missed. Nothing new, nothing unusual. Yes I was on a road trip, but I was alone. I was out to meet someone, someone who lived far, someone who used to be mine, someone who had moved on.
It drizzled as I started my third and the last day. I had originally planned to drive through the night and reach the end early in the morning, but then I saw the sand dunes and decided to camp. It was nothing like I had ever experienced before. I drove into the dunes and went as far away from the road as possible, trying to disappear, half hoping to lose my sense of bearings and get lost in these ever changing waves of sand. A sudden stillness around made me stop and look up, and look at the stars. The sky was clear now, despite the clouds and mild rains in the afternoon. I came out of the car and without even realising, screamed at the glittering sonsofbitches. They didn't flinch, and I screamed even more, never realising how tears flowed ever time I screamed.
Tired and drenched in my sweat and tears, I slept in the car itself, never bothering to camp, or look at the bright dark blue sky and the stars. All I felt was the hollowness around me, a complete lack of feelings, an absence of emotions. There was smoke, smoke of my own making. It overwhelmed me.
Morning came easily and without even thinking I went back to the road and continued driving. When rains came once again I stopped, and decided to get drenched finally. I didn't know if I would do it again today, or ever. But I couldn't feel the rain, I didn't feel anything, at all. How can things be so empty, how can I be so lost? I knew there was little meaning in going forward, and even lesser in taking the road back. The road didn't take me anywhere, anymore. Suddenly I was free of any questions, and my mind sought no answers.
I knew nothing, yet my mind and heart told me that I knew it all. There was immense knowledge in not knowing, and accepting that this was how things were always meant to be. Why seek answers, when there were none? At least none for me.
I didn't survive. I didn't exist anymore. I was dead. Finally.
Epilogue: The body of a dead man was found a days later and a few miles from the highway, rotting inside the car, stranded in the desert. The cause of death was confirmed to be Carbon Monoxide poisoning inside the locked car.
Thanks to Tej for the illustration, read and know more about him here and here.