Monday, August 8, 2011

Future Story Images

I have a very vivid imagination and recently wound up doing a nightmarish 6 hour highway trip in 9 hours, at night.

At first the fading light was only annoying, it cut down my vision and made me feel half blind, but as the night got darker the landscape changed, taking on sinister appearance; trees turned to dark shadows and bits of fog appeared on the road making navigation hard.

On the top of a clear hill I looked out on the lake of fog I would have to drive through with dread. Slowing to 60 km/h I changed my headlights to low beam so less light would be reflected back from the humid air and allow me to see a little further and clearer as I crept up the highway. The softly light gave the illusion of traveling in a dream reality which was hard to shake. It was only my consciousness tying me to this earth as I moved my small bubble of light through the dark scape surrounding me, making the dreamy illusion even harder to shake as I clung to consciousness awareness and the belief that real world I longed for would emerge again.

At times I could have sworn the road was no longer the highway I remembered. Instead it was easy to imagine I'd been magically transported through hidden doorways in the fog and darkness to a road in another dimension and would be transfered back to reality on a later section of the highway provided I didn't stop. Which of course I did, as one doesn't make a 6 hour drive without going pee.

I chose my stops carefully. I never stopped in the foggy unlit valleys. There were places I knew I could stop safely and places I couldn't. I can't tell you how I knew this, I just did. It was a feeling, a pressure of caution, a warning passed from outside into my conscious brain which I have learnt to pay attention to. When I finally pulled over for a nap it was on a hill where I was on higher ground and in an area I recognized and was comfortable with.

As I neared the 2/3 mark, the sun was rising and I could see the trees clearly in the areas which were not smothered in with fog. I looked up from the thinner fog I was driving through and saw a picture which could have been from a fantasy movie. A sharp hilltop swathed in fog was guarded by the black shapes of 4 tall dark trees in the foreground, sentinels standing tall, looming from fog wrapped feet.

As I made the last 2 hours of the drive the sun shone brightly and the few lingering fingers of the mist which crept across my path and around the edges of the road were quickly fading; a nightmare receding into the fogs of my subconscious. And I couldn't help think of the rich descriptive images I have gained and wonder what stories they are going to crop up in.


  1. Wow, you certainly have a different definition for "nightmare" than I do! Even after 30+ years of driving commercial long-hauls I never had a drive that I'd use that term for.

  2. Well Murray, I suppose I just have a different take on descriptive perspective and interpretation. I would guess as a long haul trucker you have seen a lot of different road conditions. I would be interested in hearing about what your most hair raising drive was like.

  3. As I have to drive through a wood with a hollow to the nearest station several times a week pretty late at night, I know this otherworldly feel of creeping through seas of wavering fog. I love and fear it at the same time. Fear it because it somehow feels like being taken over by a strange, hitherto unknown element. And love it because it´s so inspiring. As if one had to unpack and develope another set of senses one didn´t even know to possess before.

    But I never had to stay in that state this long...!

  4. Yes, I can totally understand loving and fearing it. It definitely makes one feel that sixth sense that is alluded to, but never talked about. It's this which led me to know where it was safe to stop. It was a wonderful, surreal and a unnerving experience.