A song comes on the radio and you very nearly crash the car because as soon as the very first words are ushered forth, in an angst-ridden, nasal voice, through the speakers, a face from your sordid past materializes in your consciousness as if not just in your head but physically present. An apparition brought closer to reality by your own desperation. .
But you're grown older and wiser and you swivel your head feverishly, like a pedestal fan gone berserk, to shake the image loose off its hinges on the walls of the little mental crypt your memories lay buried in.
And you almost succeed and manage to negotiate the onslaught of rickshaws and motor cycles and cars driven by almost unbelievably bad drivers as you hop your way past the round about. Then you hit the clear stretch of straight, well paved road with a bountiful greenbelt casting lonely shadows of the trees huddled together like pall bearers for all the love stories they've seen come to tumultuous, tormented deaths during their years of providing secluded nooks for various manners of romantic gesticulation.
And then the song takes center stage and before you know it driving becomes a habitual, instinctive reaction to being behind the wheel.
Its your sub conscious now that propels you forth, while in the forefront of your existence exists not the responsibility of maneuvering a 2 ton weapon through a maze of kamikaze humanity, but the reality that you once truly believed would last you through the rest of your days.
Each word that rhythmically falls upon your ears builds for you a bridge that spans not only the distance of miles but also of hours and days and years which has developed between you as you used to once be and the you that is the apologetic response to who you wished you were.
You chew on each syllable like its English toffee, trying desperately to keep it from sticking to your gums, your teeth, feverishly trying to untangle the web of caramelized sugar and butter hell bent on occupying sacred territory.
But you fail and you fall head first into the present as it exists for the one you love in the absence of you. You quietly let the stickiness multiply and you succumb to the folly of wondering whether she still sings the song; whether she still likes it. Whether her eyes still light up when she utters the words that hold a secret only the two of you are privy to because only the two of you got to live that moment under the shadow of that white marble mosque on that hot July afternoon when you discovered love in all its teen-age, over-zealous, uncontrolled and unabashed glory and found it to be almost perfectly congruent to what you had hoped for it to be.