It had been a while since his father accompanied by his mother had left for the hotel. He sat behind the driver’s wheel somewhat exhausted by the length of time that he had been there serving as the chauffeur on what had been an extraordinary long trip that had left his senses deadened. The option for the part was looming and he thought about all his previous experiences and how they had for better or worse to this moment of finally appearing on the New York stage. He looked around the artifice of concrete roadways and paths subtended by metal and glass high-rises seemingly self multiplying around him. A jungle of Cyclopean dimension that his ant-like phylum seemed obsessed with erecting as part of the necessary business of prolonging the species. His mind raced dutifully behind his eyes reciting his father’s invocations one in particular of staying within the vehicle which his subconscious mentally reviewed. He had long experience from a very early age siting alone and ever vigilant in an evolutionary progression of his father’s vehicles as it had ascended from lowly Pontiac two door coupe’s to fully loaded four door Lincoln Towncar’s. That same strange sense of his disconnection with outside reality had not diminished over the decades once again re-invoked by even a few minutes of vigilance for ticket writing cops and the possible malevolence of unexpected strangers. This four-wheeled family mantle was an uneasy cloak to bear now has it had been then so many years back when he could barely peek over the steering wheel standing on the edge of the seat on his tiptoes. He was equally gripped now with an unreasonable fear that he could no longer acknowledge that if he inadvertently surrendered himself by exiting the vehicle that he would be lost to his own kind forever.
The driver’s side seat was set at its lowest adjustment setting and he lay back trying to rest as the minutes wore on. How would he fare in this part? His default sense of insecurity kept him on the topic weighing the many possibilities that the role inferred. Which of them was the right context appreciated by the management? And what would please the narrow focus of his own ego bound sense of superiority that he equally had to contend with? “Everyone had their own pet monster lurking within!“, he had confided to himself so many times since the first successes of youth had found themselves on the slippery ice of eventual age. Was he still so pretty to look at under the house lights as he had once been. Here was a question that once posed he was ever loath to respond to with anything beyond an ill fitting beard bespeaking his own brand of overly obsequious humility. It was his ongoing curse to play a part like the comedic hero within an absurdist silent film epic be caught stretched across two vehicles hurtling forth towards the juncture of diverging railroad tracks. He kept his eyes firmly closed to give his mind a modicum of rest while his ears took over listening alternately for an auditory change signaling the approach of an interloper or, hopefully, his own kin.
An unexpected silence brought him back to waking and he sat up looking out the driver’s side window to the determined approach of a youthful stranger advancing towards the car’s door. Something told him that the man would gain purchase to the vehicle’s door handle and swiftly open it if he hadn’t had the forethought to have pushed forth the inner lock fast towards the appropriate semiotic setting. His right hand awkwardly gripped the door’s inner handle as his body instinctively rocked over to the right pulling over to the passenger side as he instinctively wondered if he could shift his weight enough to prevent an attempt to wrench the portal open. The young man outside reaching forth with both of his own hands at the chrome lever. The movement of the door was slight but it caused an instant chill like an electric current to hit his shoulders. An animal fear tore through him as the fingers of his opposite hand fumbled sightlessly to find the proper direction to push at the electronic latch. There was a dispassionate sense of empty cruelty in the face of the interloper tugging out side the glass. The deadpan expression suggesting utter emotionless purpose in the man’s eyes similar to the classic description by victims of a shark attack. He looked back at the fellow wondering if he had simply conjured him in his dreams as an errant bogey man? The whole situation seemed unworldly.
“Click!“, the entire frame of the large automobile resounded electrically stimulated by the toggle’s insistence. An after the fact yank by the intruder outside testifying to his impotence to budge the door’s lock now set in place. He looked at the fellow expecting to se a hint of disappointment or angry outrage transform his would be attacker’s face but there was none. The features were as undisturbed now as they had been a few instantaneous lifetime’s ago that by the start from the attempt had peeled away like a Python’s skin. The unexpected interloper seemed to slide forth along the car realizing that retreat back into the safety of the anonymity of the streets was his only option. He just walked on like some well-accustomed predator to find better picking somewhere else.
The man collapsed back on the palanquin of the car’s driver side seat still extended fully back. He pushed his back close to it released the side lever and pulled it heavily forward into an upright position. The jumble of his own possessions carelessly strewn about within the car’s interior brought him back to his senses. He had been living within the vehicle as his prime residence now for quite some time. The past tense of his former lost existence, as it had always done, had once again infused itself into the ignoble realities of ‘now’ from its inner lair. Like a ghost, the once treasured sense of security from his restless past had once more come back to haunt.