(Originally written: August 7, 2018)

In long stretches of road that are in the middle of nowhere you’re often left driving alone. There’s no car in front of you that brakes just a little too much, forcing you to brake just a little too much. There’s no impatient driver behind you that thinks riding right on your bumper can somehow force you to drive through the car in front of you that’s slowing you down. There are no car accidents for drivers to rubberneck and slow everyone down. Nothing. You, your car, and the road. Maybe some music if you’re fortunate.

I was on one of those roads once. It was just past sunset and I only had my songs to keep me company. I was doing an awful rendition of ‘Take On Me’ when I drove past one of those middle of nowhere gas stations. A car had just left it and was now driving behind me. I looked in my rear view mirror and saw that she too was alone save for her songs. I knew she had songs because no one bobbed their head like that without music being involved. 

There were long stretches where there were only two lanes, the second one being for oncoming traffic. However every now and then the road would get bigger and our side would have its own two lanes. So my new friend and I would get the chance to dance. Using the freedom given by two lanes, we weaved in and out of each other. Sometimes we’d speed up to overtake the other and other times we’d ease up on the accelerator to let the other race forward. We’d relax when the road turned back into a single-lane. Then when it opened up we’d continue our dance, following a rhythm that our hands and feet could seemingly hear.

Eventually the highway brought us to the middle of somewhere and we had other cars attempt to join our dance. Being late to the party, they couldn’t hear the song. And since we were too shy to dance in front of others, we stopped dancing. She took her spot behind me and we continued on into the city. I looked in my rear view to see her but it was too dark now. I guessed, most likely correctly, that she was still singing along with her songs. I say that confidently because I was doing the same. 

Soon the city buildings began to shrink and turn into suburban houses and shopping complexes. We were alone again. She sped out from behind me and I got ready to continue our dance. To my dismay, she kept switching lanes until she was on the far right. She flashed her lights as she took the exit and I returned the gesture with a heavy heart. 

As I drove home I thought about how nice the other driver was for not giving me a ticket for all the speeding and reckless driving.