Present, Future and Past

A middle-aged woman is sorting through a stack of papers, smiling at a younger man sitting on the other side of her desk.

“Why do you do it?”

The man looks annoyed. “Do what?”

“Crime.”

“I don’t.”

“Innocent until proven guilty?”

“I drive. If the police want to follow me, that’s their problem. ”

“Fair enough.”

“How does it make you feel.”

“In control.”

The woman quickly starts to jot something down. “I see.”

He rolls his eyes. “That’s not why I do it.”

She starts to erase. “Explain.”

He shifts in his seat, sticking his right hand in his pocket. “Have you ever wanted something? I mean really wanted something?”

She looks confused. “Of course.”

“Everything I have ever wanted has always been just out of reach. You might tell me I’m trying to catch it.”

“Are you? ”

“I’m trying to pass it.”

“And when you look into your future, you are in front of it?”

“No.”

“Why do you think that is?”

“I don’t look.”

“Everyone looks.”

“Not everyone sees anything.”

“You must see something.”

He pauses for a moment, looking around the room. “Two roads.”

The woman looks down at her clipboard waiting for him to elaborate. He does not. “Where do these two roads lead?”

“Nowhere. We covered that.”

“I assume by nowhere, you mean death?”

“Death is an option.”

“And the other?”

He shifts in his seat again. “I don’t like to think about it.”

“It’s worse?”

“The only other outcome is becoming something I don’t want to become.”

“I see.”

His pocket moves slightly as he grips his car keys, waiting for someone to break the silence as she writes what seems like a novel.

“So, why are you here today?”

“The State.”

“No, still alive?”

“I’m on a different road.”

She focuses her full attention to him. “I thought there were only two roads?”

“They converge, but when is the question. At what point do I reach the intersection?” He sinks in his seat, staring blankly past her.

“You fear this day, don’t you? ”

“No.”

“What do you fear?”

“How fast I will be going.”

She hesitates for a second, still trying to follow his logic. “This is the only future you envision?”

“There is another, but it’s an illusion. A sane reaction to postpone the collision one more day. Reoccurring mercilessly in a compulsive loop.” An arrogant smirk forms across his face.

“Some might call it hope.” She is clearly unimpressed. “Even illusions look like something.”

“It’s a future where I’m not behind the wheel anymore. Where I can make an honest living, that’s worth the effort. “Where I can wake up before 4 pm, with someone beside me, and my first thought isn’t wishing I could kill God with my bare hands.”

She crosses out her previous notes. “You still miss her, don’t you?”

He closes his eyes, admitting defeat.

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