When I come along in my luxurious and expensive motor vehicle it is too difficult to resist that open passenger door and you hop in without hesitation. I won’t be taking you for a gentle drive through undulating countryside nor for a meandering excursion along the coast. No. It is straight to the motorway. You are pinned back in your seat by the sudden acceleration as we speed away. You let out a laugh, delighted by the surge of excitement as I move straight into the fast lane and the speedometer needle climbs as we go faster and faster. It is exhilarating to be driven along by such a confident and masterful driver.
The motorway I take you on has been purpose built for me. It cuts through the landscape, not going around or under or over but straight through. There are no obstacles for my motorway. It is direct and effective. Its construction bludgeoned everything else out of the way as it made its mark on everything around it. Nothing could stop it as mile after mile it stretched across the land. Nothing gets in the way of my motorway.
You marvel at how quickly it takes you to so many different places. You smile as you press your nose to the glass and watch the signs flash past ‘Desire’,’Heaven’,’Excitement’ and ‘Delight’ are all signposted. My motorway takes you to these places in a matter of moments and no sooner have we visited one place then we are back on my motorway, speeding through the night to the next location. The motorway takes us direct to the best restaurants, the most exotic destinations, the concerts where it enables us to drive right up to the front of the stage and the hitherto exclusive and difficult places you always tried to reach are suddenly in front of you, all courtesy of this expansive motorway network.
My motorway never has traffic jams, is free of roadworks and always takes the most direct route to the destination. It is breath-taking how fast we travel along it, yet you always feel safe, content in the knowledge that I am taking care of you on this modern and well-maintained transport route.
Occasionally you see people that you recognise stood on the hard shoulder. Some of your family who watch as we speed by. You see your friends who are parked to one side as we race along. You raise a hand to wave to them but it is too late. We have already rushed by them leaving them far behind, just a passing blur. You are not concerned however as you see the next sign detailing our destination and the anticipation rises as you await your arrival at this glamorous place. All thoughts of family, friends and supporters have been left behind, as quickly as we drove past them.
Sometimes you think you see a warning sign flash on one of the overhead gantries but I am driving so fast along this wide motorway that you cannot be sure.
“Did that say danger ahead?” you ask as we zip underneath another illuminated sign.
“Oh it just a routine test, you do not need to worry about that,” I smile and you are instantly reassured. You settle back in your seat as the world and your life flashes by but you are too focussed on what lies ahead at the next destination to worry about what is passing you by. This is the ride of your life and you never want it to stop.
The car suddenly brakes to a halt. Tyres squeal and smoke drifts past as the vehicle violently stops. You lurch forward in your seat and almost bang your head on the dashboard. Disorientated you right yourself as the passenger door opens.
“Out you get,” I instruct. The smile is gone and is now replaced by a face you barely recognise as I stare ahead.
“Sorry? What?” you splutter in confusion.
“Time to go. You need to go that way,” I state aggressively and point behind you.
“What do you mean? Why have we stopped? I don’t understand,” you protest.
“Out!Out! Out! ” I bark and suddenly frightened you scramble out of the car and stand trembling on the tarmac.
“Your life is back that way,” I add as the passenger door slams shut and you watch as I roar off up a slip road next to a large sign saying “Fuel this way”.
You watch me disappear from view and then turn to face the silent and empty motorway which stretches away into the far distance. You start walking, confused and upset.
The walk back to your life is just like my motorway.
Dark grey and long.