It’s like being on the notoriously long and boring Interstate-90. It’s foggy and you can’t quite see where you’re going, but you know that as long as you stay awake and just keep driving you should be all right. The catch: you knew that there was a problem with the brakes, but you decided to chance it anyway, and naturally, with your luck, the one time you decide to risk all and get into the car is the one time that the brakes finally give out.
The closest exit to a rest stop is still a long way off, so unless you run out of gas or deliberately swerve off and crash into a tree, you just have to keep going (it has been taken for granted here that common sense will ensure you don’t deliberately crash into a tree). So when the car starts coughing and sputtering, you know it’s about to die, but it would make absolutely no sense to jump out and risk breaking something, and besides, there’s always that little hope that the car could somehow last until you get to the exit. This begs the question: Why were you in the car in the first place?
Sometimes we get ourselves into a situation without realizing just how far it can take us. But we know that the distance it can go and the length of time it can take isn’t entirely up to us, because there are certain things we can’t control. When the car finally runs out of gas and stops, you’re not surprised that it’s dead, but at the same time you’re upset that you can’t go anywhere now, not even to the exit. If all the plans we make start crumbling about our ears, would we be able to put ourselves in a position where we can toss our heads and say, “Whatever. I saw that coming anyway”? Or is there no conceivable way to escape the disappointment and self-blame and (in some cases) heartbreak?
The gas light is on. And when it starts flashing, I’m not sure what I’m going to do.