The Narrative Demands It

I’m on the highway, heading south, on a particular June winter morning. I’m doing hundred and the sun is shining and the road is almost empty. Just a few cars, far ahead, well past my turn-off, which means I get some space to myself in a world no longer fond of space.

I’ve had the stereo playing ever since I left home, and I find myself listening to the Stranglers Golden Brown for the first time in years. It occurs to me that I love this song. I’ve got things turned up a little louder than usual, and I turn it up a little more, and the music fills my head and obliterates everything else. I’ve got the car and the road and the ¾ rhythms of the keyboard and the harpsicord, Hugh Cornwell singing about the texture and sun and finer temptresses, that slow rise-and-fall of the music wrapping itself around my day like the last touch of a dream.

I feel good. I’m in the moment. I’m not thinking about the things I’ve done wrong, or the things I’d like to do right. I’m just driving a car and singing off-key and god, it’s so bright out there. The road is so empty. It’s perfect, in a way, for the length of a verse; the kind of scene that appears in movies, right before a character has a heart attack, or gets attacked by zombies, or finds themselves blindsided by a truck. Happiness as a portent of doom, because happiness does not last unless it occurs at the climax and becomes part of the denouement.

It occurs to me, any moment now, I need to die quite horribly. The narrative demands it.

  4 comments for “The Narrative Demands It

  1. 12/06/2017 at 12:30 PM

    It’s not just me then?

  2. 12/06/2017 at 1:32 PM

    Other people think that, too?

  3. 12/06/2017 at 1:34 PM

    That happy = doom for themselves, not that happy should = doom for you. Because ‘overthinking typos girl’ is in the house.

    • 12/06/2017 at 1:36 PM

      It’s the nature of second acts coming to an end. All happiness is snatched away, usually by a cruel irony.

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