Highways knot and twist and converge in ways we’ve never seen before. Traffic enters at angles so unfamiliar we’d swear we’ve never driven this route although we used to travel it daily. No wonder we quarrel in rhetoric of olive drab. The car fills with it, overfills till the pressure’s unbearable. Our skulls feel crushed yet neither speaks to break the spell.
I flick the radio’s tiny controls to evoke a chatter studded with artificial laughter, the kind that offends you most. Meanwhile the highway has narrowed because a wreck needs clearing. A stupid but nicely tanned young man stands beside a crushed Honda, which apparently he drove into the rear of a Volvo. I hear the young man justify his tailgating. The other driver was too old, too slow, too rich, too scholarly.
We keep ourselves to ourselves, even when we pass the state geologist hammering ledge for samples of some pink mineral. Probably rhodonite. I wave, but he concentrates as powerfully as a boiler full of steam. We drive full of desperation and eventually arrive home and let the rhetoric out of the car to dissipate in rainy trees.