Drive

Another mile gone, another mile without a word. It was my fault really, I once again let my temper flare when by now, I should have learned to bite my tongue.
I feel a little sympathy toward you, because while I have the act of driving to focus on, you have nothing but the passing world.
Staring out at cars with families, lorries and their loads, the lone travellers off to who knows where. Hearing the last salvos of our argument play round and round your head, dissecting and offering counter arguments to each point.
I have the mind emptying task of just focusing on the road, to drown out the “you said, I said” repetitiveness.

Arguments are always won in the mind, after the fact. But it’s the ones that are first spoken, then shouted, that make it harder, with each passing minute, to offer reconciliation. The point and counter point that plays out in the mind, “If I say this, he’ll say that”, which in the end leads to only more silence.
The lie we tell each other – “Oh I love your stubbornness, it’s why we get on so well” – is in fact a curse that can damage our relationship when it is at its most intransigent, and we both refuse to concede to the other.

It would take such a small movement to bridge the chasm of heavy silence in the car. A hand across to rest on a thigh, or to gently stroke the back of the head. That would be less effort even than just quietly saying “I’m sorry”. Instead, another mile ticks over, and another small slice is added to the growing pile of resentment. All the while, you stare out at the flowing road, while I drive.

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7 Responses to Drive

  1. Oh, I’ve been there before. Sometimes as the driver, sometimes as the passenger. Not always with the same person. Kids, husband, other family. Being constrained in a closed space with no escape route and an ongoing argument is a special kind of hell. Very aptly described, right down to ‘the flowing road’ and the internal dialogue.

    • Simon says:

      Thank you 🙂 Yes, unfortunately, although this was a fictional piece, it WAS drawn from personal experience on more than one occasion!

      • It’s either the silence or a full-blown shouting match. Been there too! Kids are a nightmare to drive with. I’ve actually stopped before and put them out of the car. Went back for them right enough. Kinda had to, s’pose. 😉

      • Simon says:

        That’s awesome… and a little scary! 🙂

      • Pfft! That’s nothing. Scary lady me, at times. Creative parenting. 😀

  2. Excellently put, Simon – you have captured this perfectly!

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