“Perhaps, I should have gotten off this thing,” I said to myself.

“But no, it wasn’t the right time.”

There’s a lot of new cars on here, driving in the fast lane

but it’s slowing down, now.

I see an interesting old man, driving a beater from the 70s. He’s been on the freeway a long time.

Classical music has made him crazy. He’s wearing a checkered cap.

Then, out of nowhere, he pulls a cigar

and smokes,

billowing clouds of ash

into the atmosphere, fogging-up his windows.

His face is blue and purple

caused from burst veins and discoloration from the sun.

My truck is barely rolling down the road now


towards an uncertain death.

It feels better when it might happen at 70 miles per hour

rather than

the slow suffocation of carbon monoxide poisoning

from all the fat automobiles

farting exhaust.

“Why didn’t I get off this thing,” I said.

The radio man chatters, like a meth head

The football game is on.

I turn it off.

“Perhaps, I should’ve gotten married when I was 30. Cashed in my chips and gambled on the Russian girl? But no, I wasn’t ready. I was discovering myself, and I didn’t have confidence, that I could pull it off. There was a whole group of girls that wanted to date me, but all I saw was trouble. The opposite sex would talk me out of who I wanted to be, and now I’m lonely, in my car, contemplating, calling my mother.”

We have to get off the freeway, sometime. Otherwise, we’ll be like that dumb fool that never got home, and died in traffic.

“There’s another one,” I said. The tow truck was pulling a clunker onto the platform. The police were directing traffic.

They have an exciting job, but out of nowhere, somebody gets shot.

The guys at bible study, share their summer stories.

“I bought a home. I volunteered. I didn’t do anything.”

Some pretend to have it all figured-out, while others admit they don’t have a clue.

I have to get off this thing, but there’s no exit, I want to take.

“Traffic will open-up. Then, I’ll really go for it. There’s still gas in my engine and air in my tires. This is a high-performance vehicle. It can race with the most competitive teenagers.”

Then, why are they passing me? Why am I going slower and slower? There’s an exit ramp. Do I get off? No, that’s not where I want to go.

I don’t know, if I’ll ever get there.

I want to be a mystery writer. I call my mother and tell her. “You write such a sleezy detective,” she said. “Why don’t you write about a man who has character?”

“I can’t do that. That’s not inside me.”

We talk until I arrive at my dark apartment complex.

Maybe, nobody can help me get off this freeway. I have to make my own decisions, that feel right.

That could mean a lifetime of failure.

I saw a blond in a halter-top, driving a red Mercedes, three cars up. Why can’t I meet her? Perhaps, I’m not attractive enough. I’m only a bundle of failure, moving up the freeway.

Or maybe, I’m a writer. I’ll just have to wait and see

and enjoy the journey,

wherever that may lead.

9 thoughts on “Getting Off the Free-Way

    1. Well… the true test of any writer is endurance. Any number of things can stop a man from writing. The trick is to never stop. Fame and success can cause a writer to stop. I would love to have that test. In the meantime, I’m content with failure. I’m glad that you enjoy my writing, Nicole Smith. Sorry for the late response. Life has been crazy!

      Liked by 1 person

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