Fiction: The Cold Ride Home
Photo Source: Pxhere
The sun had already set as Martin crossed back into the city limits, replacing the dying gray light of the day with the empty black of the night. The world crept by his windows as his brute of a car picked the route through the streets towards his home. The sights were familiar, yet offered no comfort.
As a child, driving through the streets downtown at night had frightened him; his overactive imagination had always played its tricks on him. The way that passing under the beams of the street lights threw shadows across the windows, and were then rapidly followed by the blurring sight of the dark, hulking structures- it had always made it seem like the buildings were following him.... or closing in. But fears such as those always pass with time and age. The thought that passed through his mind now was how uninhabited those same streets were as of late.
The Midwest was no stranger to cold weather, yet its sudden and unwelcome entrance had somehow put a pause on much of the way the people of the city lived their life. Clubs, bars, restaurants, all remained open, but the inhabitants seemed to have closed themselves off on their own accord. In some way it brought him comfort; such was the comfort of his complacency and depression lately that it had become its own manifestation of being normal.
The low, lulling heat from his dashboard was practically hypnotic against the cold embrace of the night he had felt outside. The barrier it created from the world outside served as even more of a disconnect from reality that the cold had created.
He cracked a window to allow some fresh air to seep into the car, hoping to freshen his dour spirit. His fingers found their way to the radio dial on the console. Without putting his eyes on it, he turned the power knob of the old Kenwood car stereo he had installed many years ago.
The speakers came to life with a low swoop. A split second of the song already playing on KLMN Radio, 97.5, was enough to register its familiar, bittersweet melody:
“-dreams we held so close
Seemed all go up in smoke
Let me whisper in your ear- Angie, Angie.
Where will it lead us from here?-”
Martin inhaled a bated breath and exhaled slowly through his nose. The melody was more bitter than sweet for this listening. Funny, he thought, how some songs can be hopeful or uplifting one day, yet the same song can become melancholy and hollow the next.
He wanted to relax, he wanted a drink, but most of all, he wanted to shed some of the weight that threatened to split his head in two.
Micah Kosares was born and raised in central Ohio, and continues to live here with his fiancee. When he's not writing, he can be found playing guitar and singing vocals in his rock n' roll band, Radio Static.