• Travis Ryan

Chasing Speed Demons

I don’t even know if I’m here right now, dream world and real-world blends heavy on certain days. The only piece of concrete evidence that tips the scales of decision to the side of consciousness is that there’s a crick in my neck and I feel tired. Unless I’m starting to develop new and unusual style of night terrors where I just experience old people problems instead of dangling from a rope or treading water in a shark tank for 8 hours straight. I hope I’m awake, otherwise que the music and the naked go-go dancers.

I vividly remember the conversations from last night, they were deep and meaningful, however the language was something I can’t understand on this side of the dream world it all sounds like Louie Armstrong trumpet tracks, and I was pulling broken glass out of my mouth the whole night. I have no idea how it kept getting everywhere, but my mandible was like the streets in east Baltimore, glass, nails, shell casings. Sick. As the brass and shattered bottles slid from between my lips, I learned something about myself, what it is Ill never consciously know. But I woke up feeling like everything was different. Then again… it always is.

When the needle hits 140 the car starts shaking, the speedometer only goes to 120, but the phone says I’ve exceeded that by twenty. The needle is teetering past the red line, and it is impossible to tell if the car is shaking from the strained suspension or the engine being about to explode. As the wind from the open windows drowns out the knock from the kicker in the back pounding away at full volume and the air flying on all sides of the vehicles equalizes into something resembling a bubble, your body floats away and your consciousness melds through the rubber of the wheel into the steel and aluminum construction of this wheeled creature of internal combustion. You become part of the vehicle, neurons firing at the same speed as the spark plugs, heart beat matching up with the tortured cadence of the strained motor, you are no longer a human, you are a creature of artificial evolution. With one push of the pedal in a matter of seconds you have bypassed thousands of years of survival of the fittest. Flicking your cigarette out the window back a century into Darwin’s lap, you’ve taken the organic flow of things into your own control. Time slows down dramatically, each second feeling like hours, this is true eternity weaving through traffic.

Watching the lights slide by like long trailing brush strokes you realize you’ve made it to the essence of mechanical bonding. This all started with an attempt to find an old friend. The police estimated that he hit a guard rail going about 150 and “there’s no way that death was not instant based on where they found him in the woods”. With this information it became evident that this adventure was devoid of consequences because even though death is a more than likely option, mutating into a cyborg with control over time, space, and human advancement for a matter of minutes depending on what steel wheeled bubble you’ve chosen, is worth the risk. I was hoping that when I fell into homeostasis I would be able to see him again for a brief moment, but at this moment I had the realization that the human elements of my life are left in the dust, I cant remember what its like missing anyone, wanting to reconnect, the world is flying by like atoms in a steel girder, unidentifiable and unmistakable all at once.

The screech of tires didn’t seem like it was coming from my mount, more as if it was resonating from my soul. After a near quarter mile of the twisting sliding, tire squealing halt, two things became evident, my astral form had been crammed back into the small jar made of bone and sinew and I was not dead. I didn’t see him that night, but as I drove from the center of the highway into the right lane and exited, hands sweating and shaking, that he was the one who yanked my hand brake. It was not my time to cross over into instant death and infinity. I drove home on side streets, going 25 and smiling just like old times. Ill see you again my comrade in chaos.

“lead foot” “median medium” “aggressive evolutionist” “speed scribbler”

Travis Muffhuggin Ryan


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