Driving in My Sleep

405 freeway

I wear my car like armor

in rush hour traffic

on the 405 freeway

I’m weaved in.

Gridlocked.

Uptight after a five minute whoosh

of frantic wheels

knowing for an instant

how movement feels

rushing home. Then horns blare.

I’m jamming

against screeching tires.

Brakes slam

jarring

me to stop for an age.

I’m trapped inside a tiny painted cage.

The afternoon sun bakes away

any remnant of twilight’s cool.

The day is gone.

A headache’s coming on.

I’m sweating, pale,

breathing in

a carbon monoxide cocktail

in a claustrophobic space.

This is an illusion

of being alone in a crowded place

in one of many compartments enclosed .

I  saw a third finger message

from a sign language fool

in the car ahead of me.

If I didn’t have the radio, if I couldn’t do the dreaming,

this experience would make me crazy

and I’d be screaming.

As some already are

busy darting in and out

of places that don’t exist. They jar

Consciousness like angry bees

insist zigzagging at random,

getting nowhere.

My angry fists

try to relax.

Planes fly over toward LAX,

aim straight at my

vulnerable state,

vibrating space into pseudomotion.

We must look to those overhead like slow streams of ants :

thousands of insects….a social expanse.

Working as one for the many

I slowly struggle through

the many for the one

after work sitting, waiting.

Desperate cars ahead grasp

for individuality showing off license plates

that say, “I’m Razzmatazz.”

I can’t see just how far

the line stretches.

All together we make a tangled ball

tied up so tightly

that we can’t move at all.

An angry dragon in a net

starts roaring, fires a weapon, can kill.

A nation of freedom and will?

Is this craziness what civilization is all about?

So many of us and no way out.

We project the effects

of urban misery

on those we choose

to be rejects.

Still I sit.

I’m driving in my sleep

for the money

to survive,

becoming part of a tense city heap.

In this fight or flight, there is no strength.

Drive in unity, drive in peace.

~ by dianeklammer on March 10, 2013.

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