On a street, in a town

September 26, 2010 § Leave a comment

So fast, it could just as well have not happened at all.

The cat had come running out into the road from a driveway on the left. She wasn’t even going quickly but it was fast enough to bundle the cat up into the wheels, the awful stuttering thud as the body struck and ricocheted. Too sudden to avoid it.

Her child in the back, strapped into a seat, saying mummy what was that? And the idiot just behind, right at her heels, nearly clipped her wing as she swerved into the kerb, and he beeped as he lurched and veered round her to resurrect his journey.

She sat there with hands gripping the steering wheel, didn’t want to look under the car, back at the road, knowing that the cat would be a black and white memory of a cat, reformed into the tarmac, else vanished as cats are prone to do, crawling away, stunned, to die in dignified privacy.

Her child saying mummy what’s wrong, clamouring to be released from his seat, as she starts to cry, but it’s not about the cat, it’s about how easy it is, how very easy, to end everything, and how sometimes nowadays she thinks about that as she’s driving along not quite in the moment, being there in the car, at the wheel but not focusing on the road ahead and the road behind and the hazards throwing themselves in her path. She wonders whether her absence is always as unconscious as she likes to tell herself, or whether it’s a deliberate escape attempt.

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