It’s dark when I arrive on the deserted roads
high in the hills where the unplowed snow
sits deep and the ice coats the trees
crows scatter at the sound
of the engine piercing the silence
I stop a moment and turn off the traction control
shifting gears I throw the throttle
snow flies in sheets from unbound tyres
and I slide from corner to corner
with a manic intensity
I have no fear, no stimulus response
and seek to find some way of feeling alive
I turn up the music to deafening levels
singing along to Alice in Chains
as the part of me that once raced on tracks
takes over and forces the unruly vehicle
to some semblance of direction
sliding and gliding over this icy byway
it happens as it must, at these speeds
in these conditions
I spin and find myself
inches from the gorge with the heady
drop to the ravenous wild below
getting out to look at the sparse three inches
between my life and my doom
I laugh into the empty sky
my voice brittle and blunt
I realise, in that moment, with clarity
that it makes no difference if I had gone over
or sat as I do on the precipice of eternity
I will return to this, tomorrow or next week
in hopes of feeling that I am still alive
for now it seems no edge of disaster
can bring me even that

Note: I drove out early this morning. Seeking in vain some sense of belonging to the world. Some idea of fear to remind me that I was alive. All I found was the same brutal apathy, even with my life firmly on the line. The line between life and death blurred and meaningless. Even at the verge of the drop of hundreds of feet my heart-rate didn’t rise nor my breathing alter. None of it feels like it matters

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