They pulled over with the briefest flurry of gravel. Their car sat idle, the engine popping as the heat dissipated into the evening air. I couldn’t see much of them, such as they were with the sun putting them in profile. What they said, what they did, I did not know.
But like most people we had all stopped what we were doing to look at the sun. It was a particular feature of this stretch of highway. The tarmac lining up with the star and presenting a golden path for all to journey on. Yet few were ever brave enough to drive it.
They were no different. Or maybe they were distracted, because they didn’t get out. Everyone else along the road took the moment to stand in awe and bask in the radiance of the long path before us. Even I was out and enjoying the view, though I meant to keep my eye on them.
In that moment, they were gone. Their car remained, but they had left. And I didn’t realize it until 20 minutes later as I was waiting for them to start moving, so I could keep tailing them. I just assumed they’d use the break to nap, or fuck, or fight. I even thought maybe they’d simply slipped out to go behind a bush.
But as I rolled up on the car it became clear - they’d run off into the desert. A landscape that stretched to either side of the highway for hundreds of miles and was not terribly welcoming. Added to that was the swiftly dropping temperature and the loss of the light, and their travels wouldn’t get any easier.
Initially I thought it best to park nearby, but that’d draw attention. One lone car is nothing. But two says something. They’d set out with a purpose, and losing me may have been part of it, but I knew if I was to catch up I had to figure out what else was out there for them, since the horizon wasn’t their destination.
Today’s art is courtesy of Alena Aenami from Zaporizhia, Ukraine.