Night darkened landscape smears past. Distant mountains. Roadside scree. No street lights, nor shoulder to speak of. Steep drop to either side of the road’s edge. A single bent and scored guardrail off the driver’s side offers little comfort.
Left hand gripping the wheel, right hand slung over the passenger seat’s back, I twist shoulders and torso to see out the car’s rear window, to back down the road. Narrow blacktop snakes back and forth in hairpin turns down the mountain. The left side of my body is a single, taut length, from foot to shoulder. Though I firmly press — stand upon — the brake pedal, the car gains incremental speed.
No time to spare, to consider why. Every ounce of concentration is needed to keep the car in the lane, on the road. The descent continues with increasing speed. Wheels spit up gravel as I tug the wheel to follow the road’s endless, twisting contours.