To reach the South one needed to go through tunnels, one after the other, alternating between sun-drenched stretches of smooth new highway and darkened cylinders broken up at regular intervals by large yellow lights protected by a thick metal mesh that left grid reflection marks on the windscreens of other cars as they sped by. We had been travelling for days, and I don’t think either of us knew when or where we should stop. Each afternoon, usually around three, we would start to keep an eye out for an exit that would lead to a small town, and once there we’d find a hotel and settle in for the night. We weren’t in a rush, we had nowhere to go. Usually we were asked if we were married, to which I always said no and she said, yes, of course, and it became something of a game whether, when we stopped at the latest hotel, we would pretend to be married or not. I asked her one evening if we should just stop the fakery and get married at the next big city, and I swear her eyes lit up, but she said it wasn’t the best idea and that we really just needed to concentrate.
She drove in the mornings. I was always too hungover, but she never drank so she was fresh no matter the hour. I don’t mind waking up with a hangover but I cannot function for several hours. So she drives until about ten in the morning, and then I drive, sometimes for only a little while if a nice place presents itself, sometimes deep into the night. I can drive forever, I love the sound car wheels make against the road. I like trains better, and so does she, but there’s no way we could afford to travel for too long on them. But in the car we think we can go on like this for months. It’s just petrol, food, accommodation. And sometimes we sleep in the car, but it’s not comfortable and it’s not really why either of us wanted to take this trip, anyway.
What are we running from? I guess everything. We never really talked about it, we just did it.
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The above piece of writing comprises part of my fragments project, some of which are available on this website. I intend to add new fragments piecemeal, not in any particular order, and as the occasion take me.