"This is my jam!" I yelled ecstatically out to the frozen Dan, "now get in the fucking car or I'll burn your family."
He numbly strode over and settled into the Outback's spacious but tasteful interior. It's the kind of interior that has nothing to prove...because it's proved it all already.
I closed my eyes, stomped on the gas pedal, and felt our vehicle rip through the beating heart of the world. Personally, I find driving way too terrifying to watch, so I have no idea how fast we were going, but if I had to hazard a guess, I'd say all of it. All of the fast.
"LIFE IS A HIGHWAY," I joyously hollered to the space where Dan probably was, "WHAT ARE WE GONNA DO?!"
Either he didn't answer, or else I just couldn't hear him scream "RIDE IT ALL NIGHT LONG!" through the headphones. I assumed the hell out of that latter.
A shudder passed through me as the car shifted, still picking up speed. God, the sheer, mad velocity of it! I could feel it as a physical weight - like a lump of cold, liquid silver settling into the back of my gut; like needles dancing up my neck; like every nerve sang out at once in a note of pure and ceaseless agonistic adrenalin, their billion voices joining together into a cellular power-ballad of bliss and fear. Even the music - the auditory supremacy that is Tom Cochrane - faded and pulled away, to be replaced by a lulling, static nothingness that yelled "What the fuck are you doing, Robert?" in my ear, over and over again.
"I'm not doing
"Get the fuck out of this Earth-shatteringly beautiful Subaru," the void answered back.
"There are...no words. Should have sent...a poet."
I opened my eyes, and stared up into Jack's purpling face, peering in through the lowered window. He held my headphones in one hand, still blaring out the most ethereal masterpiece ever produced by the transcendental and beauteous fingers of Tom Cochrane.
"What is this thing, out of gas?" I asked him, pumping the pedal a few times.
"That's the brake," Jack answered flatly.
"But I felt the universe spin out of control all around me. I resonated with the harmonics of the cosmos," I protested.
"That's the way Tom Cochrane and Subaru Outbacks make everybody feel," Jack spat back impatiently, "now get out of this car-"
"And into your dreams?" I helpfully supplied. Jack smacked me across the mouth and I cried a little. Then he dragged me to inside, to the elevator, and we rode up in tense silence.
"Awwwkwaard," I smiled over at him, trying to break the ice. He did not respond.
I had to get out of this. Luckily, there was one more ace up my sleeve. Moving slowly and deliberately, keeping my focus on Jack in the periphery, I quietly slipped a flat square of duct tape, my trusty Swiss Army knife, two hockey tickets and a piece of semi-chewed gum from their various compartments within the BFP. I surreptitiously secured the blade of the knife to the patch of duct tape with the gum, then pressed the hockey tickets over the sticky wad to fasten them there.
With hockey tickets and duct tape, you can make everything. Even...love.
The doors dinged, and began to open.
"HA!" I screamed victoriously, and threw the lump of stuff into Jack's face. I bolted from the elevators, took a random but intricate series of turns, then hid beneath a desk in a darkened office at the end of a short corridor. I giggled to myself, to pass the time.
Suddenly, the door swung open. Strong, drunkenly confident steps closed the distance between the entrance and my hiding space. The legs settled with pained weariness into the chair, and after a long moment, the voice came.
"God dammit, Robert."
"Clever girl," I muttered up at Jack, "how did you find me so fast?"
"This is my office. This is our floor. We pushed the button, and the elevator took to us the corresponding story of the building. That is how elevators work."
"Well played," I congratulated him, crawling around and settling into my traditional Scolding Chair, "you wanted to see me?"
"I...yes. I suppose I did. I just wanted to know what your column was about this week, but now that we've lost a window, half of a janitor, and probably another court battle against a dude who got stabbed in a Subaru, I guess we have other things to discuss."
He sucked in a slow, shuddering breath. I did not hear it release.
"I went to fucking Georgetown University, Robert. Do you understand that? Georgetown. Fucking. University. The world was my oyster!"
"Motherfucking Georgetown University! That's like 3/16 of a Harvard!"
"I could've managed a Denny's in Alaska, for god's sake! Fairbanks, maybe! I had a life in front of me, and now all I have are these...these...shenanigans! Endless
"MacGyver," I answered him simply, "the column's about MacGyver. You know they have the whole series up on Netflix now? Fantastic show."
"Fine," He said, pinching his eyes shut and motioning me outward. I rose and made for the door.
"Listen, Jack," I stopped abruptly, not looking back when I spoke, but down at the floor. I kept my voice careful, soft, and even: "Try not to let all of this get you down. See, life's like a road that you travel on, when there's one day here and the next day gone. Sometimes you bend, sometimes you stand, sometimes you turn your back to the wind. But there's a world outside every darkened door, where the blues won't haunt you anymore, where the brave are free and lovers soar."
We stood in silence for a moment. When I turned around, there were tears streaking his boyish face.
"Life is a highway," I whispered, "life is a highway."
"Are you...are you going my way?" Jack asked through broken sobs.
"I am, Jack. I always am."
We hugged until it got awkward and then I went and played yo-yo for a while.
You can buy Robert's book, Everything is Going to Kill Everybody: The Terrifyingly Real Ways the World Wants You Dead, or follow him on Twitter and Facebook. This column was not sponsored by Subaru, but strangely enough, it was sponsored by Life is a Highway.
Be sure to check out The 5 Most Amazing Real Life MacGyver Moments. And get you some more Brockway in 5 Scientific Discoveries That Spell Doom for Your Penis.
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