Driving empty roads at 3:00am, radio surfing, connected
to the world, BBC World Service. Dialects & accents, voice
attractions to get lost in the comfort of the global hiss
between stations, airwaves vibrate from Delhi to the M25.
I caved to the need for chocolate to stay awake, cruising
garish service station shops, avoiding the eyes of staggering
drunks, I didn’t pick up that old coffee addiction Mother,
you’d be proud of me. Sweet coconut & water was all I used to
fuel the knuckles on the wheel last night, the eyes that keep
the wheels between the white lines. At the Essex boarder they’d
closed the roads on the final leg, (laugh out loud!) sent me
driving miles, looping back behind great lumbering carnivals
of elephantine truck processions rolling in to loading docks
concealed behind inner city outlets. Unseen, the nightly ritual
played out as the world sleeps, wrapped in cotton cocoons.
What’s this face I hardly recognise?, the mirror lies!, it’s
fixed eyes, focusing on a bedroom I left behind three days ago,
waits with promises…
Slip road off the monotone hum of motorway blacktop, taking
slow roads just to stay awake, hearing voices in between
the voices carried on the airwaves from exotic alleyways
I fantasise I walk down without ever being noticed, never
touch the sides, I glide along them, smelling dust & spice.
The words turn into shapes, lifting off the canvas at the back
of the eye, manilla twists, enraptured in the headlights
as I slip between sleepers, dormant cars pulled up on bare dirt
at the side of the road. Black & Grey & Brown & tiny animal
flickers caught in the headlights, startle fear, propelled at
impossible speeds across the road, escape the swerve of tires.
How I get home this late I’m still amazed, shaking hallucinations
from my head – did I really see that, am I actually alive?