‘Take cars for instance, I sell ‘em, but I don’t drive ‘em,’ Richard loosens his tie and leans against the bar, ‘why? Because driving is another form of self-denial. After I take in a part-ex, I see it, you know? Tiny bits of life left under seats like litter: boarding cards, cigarette ends, wedding rings, spoons, parking fines, socks, fast food trays, babies’s dummies, bluetooth headsets; all those mornings dying in traffic, panicking over some late meeting or missed deadline, for what? They’re just buying time…they just deny it…it’s comfortable. They race down the fast lane with blinkers tryna forget about the flag. We’re all heading for the same finishing line, man. I’m happy to help ’em. But I’m gonna walk right over it, right over that edge. Face it head on in the wind and rain, no protection, no illusions, no regrets.’
‘Interesting perspective you have there,’ says the stranger, he smells of leaves, his voice is soft, and the neon signs behind the bar give him a strange glow; ‘but perception may just be a matter belief. After all, birds live and soar without thinking, without worry. They’re God’s creatures too. But they look at the road from all angles—from above—not just straight down it; life has many views, the road is long, many turns. Doesn’t mean we have to walk it alone.’
‘We’re all alone, man, in the truest sense, locked in, up here,’ Richard taps his head with a finger, ‘and you wouldn’t believe the things you find in the boot: sex toys, drink, drugs, knives—self-destruction like I was saying. You said you were a healer, right? Well, I’ll drink to that. Hey, Matt! Another beer for the good doctor here…You drive? I’ve got a beautiful 1965 Mercedes SL, silver, 2.8 litre, immaculate, smooth, classy, perfect for a respectable man of medicine like yourself.’
I thought about the religious connotations of looking for a sign. But decided to invert it into being unable to see a sign. I wanted to recast the Supper at Emmaus into a bar. But the main character here is a modern man—a car salesman. He is weary, and has lost his capacity for belief and likens humanity’s inherent self-destructive nature to being locked away and racing around in cars.
Image credit: Austin Chan via Unsplash