(1) I’m not alone.
After driving for a certain number of hours, suddenly the scary thought will wedge itself into my mind. Did I check the backseat before I got in here? Is something scurrying back there? Jump to the first logical conclusion. Someone has been in the backseat the whole time. Time starts to slow, I get sweaty glancing up at the review mirror. I can’t pull over because it could give them ample time to strangle me using the discarded clothes that I’ve been meaning to clean out for weeks.
(2) Life is pointless.
I don’t know about you, but driving for long distances kind of turns me into a huge sap fest. I’ll contemplate each decision I’ve made over the past few weeks, and whether or not it really matters at all if I made the right choice. “Was I too harsh?” “Should I have showered today?”
I overanalyze the last interaction I’ve had with nearly every important figure in my life and what it means for us. I’ll project ideas into the future. These fantasies can be as romanticized as “would daisies be a good wedding flower?” all the way to nitty-gritty irrational fears such as “what if I walk into my apartment and there is a dirty hobo woman building nest at the bottom of the stairs.” There is no cure. Driving is the time to think, think, and think some more about how much I’m over thinking.
(3) I missed my exit.
Because even though you’ve driven this particular route in the dark about 1,345,324,4546,232 times, there is still a nagging voice saying “what if you passed it and just kept driving.” It wouldn’t even be a huge problem if I got off an exit too late, yet somehow I create this all terrifying scenario of being unable to read road signs, and getting forever lost one town over.
(4) I will give that huge truck with its neon lights a piece of my mind.
It doesn’t get worse than having a very large vehicle follow behind you closely with its cocky-I-think-my-blue-probably-illegal-headlights-give-me-the-right-to-drive-like-an-aggressive-bear type attitude. I’m a pretty meek driver, not usually one to honk a horn or flip the bird. There are times where my driving fantasies aren’t anything more than telling each driver exactly how I feel about their speedy try hard driving style, but only in my head. Wouldn’t dare speak it aloud, because I don’t want them to see me angrily mouthing off and be subject to attack. Which brings me to the next point,
(5) I just accidentally cut-off that huge semi and because of this action will be targeted for the rest of my commute.
Absolutely terrifying. Don’t pull over. Don’t slow down. Don’t watch Joy Ride.
And the final, scariest possible scenario that could happen while driving is the thought that I’ve been singing along to the radio while someone has called, the phone has magically answered, and this poor soul has had the misfortune of hearing me screech-sing to Adele to Taylor or whatever’s overplayed on Top 40 this week. I don’t know how I’d ever live it down. Both parts shame of A) completely not being able to sing in a pleasing-to-anyone-else’s-ear kind of way B) the fact that I can rap Juicy J’s part in Dark Horse flawlessly, but I shouldn’t. This fear is deep-rooted enough that I will repeatedly check my phone while driving (you know, just red lights and stop signs, chill out)just to make sure it’s not dialed anyone. Not even going to think about the social exile that would come after that missed phone call.