Charmed, I'm Sure

One peek ahead through squinted eyes was all I could stand. Driving on the highway just before sunset with the windows down. A watch-reflection danced on the roof, and pulled my eyes from the road. I wanted to pull over and stuff myself into a peyote button. This thought floated, grinning, in my mind until the idea faded away and left only the teeth; the plan. Do it. Do it and don’t ask why. Lay down and feel the dry Texas grass bristling underneath you. Be one bit of shade in this parched and dusty land.
Then, without warning the solo hits. Jimi is throwing paint cans on the inside of my skull like Jackson Pollock. It makes me grind my teeth and drive faster than I need to. The peyote cat is still there grinning and waiting for me to make up my mind, and he pretends to ignore that crazy black veteran smashing the windows from the inside out. I blink and get those red and blue afterimages. There’s a flashing sun fading against the bright stovetop of highway Six Thirtee Five.
Should I pull over? Is it safe to drive in this state? These questions were not even in the same area code as this crazed and black eyed beast. I drove as if my life depended on it. The engine sighed relief as I freed it from the speed limit and pressed down the gas pedal to the floor. The music, now distant, echoed and faded like a school hallway ten minutes after the starting bell. Yaw, Yaw, yawyawyaw. If there are whipits for the soul, they couldn’t be any stronger than this. Wa Wa pedals in reverse, and my fists begin to weep against the hot leather of the steering wheel. The tires squeal as I jam the wheel too fast and too hard. A cursed litter riding on the heads of four howling banshees. A gunshot as the siderail crashes apart for me. The guard is waving me ahead past the gate. The windows are still down, and all I can hear is the distant whoosh and the pine tree flapping against the windshield. I brace for impact, and my balls squeeze up into my body cavity pushing out the sweat beads from my brow. “Do you like it?” I turned and blinked my eyes.
The man in the passenger seat is asking me questions. He is talking in the heat like the mouth of my house’s dryer vent. On and on about the fine touring suspension. The upgraded exhaust. Sorry about the AC, but it only costs 35 bucks for a recharge. Sitting in bumper to bumper traffic, I rev the engine against his voice, but he doesn’t seem to notice. “I’ll take it.” I say, and turn to the man. I knew you would, he says, and flashes me a big Cheshire grin from ear to ear.

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