Highway Hostility

Last night I dreamed I was riding my bicycle.

In my dream,
the bicycle had no handlebar,
and I do not remember what I did with my hands,
Also, I was relearning to ride the bike
on a highway.
I had forgotten to balance,
and yet I did not need to.
The bike could stay upright
all by itself.
I only had to pedal,
I did not even need to steer the bike,
which would explain the absent handlebar,
if one wished to make sense of a dream.

I continued pedalling,
moving further and faster on an empty highway,
up or down a slope I don’t know,
until I crashed head-on
into a car
which had its parking lights on.
I remember
the car was red
and that the motorist who jumped out
looked at the dent in his car,
then at me,
then back at the dent
and then at me.
Having ping-ponged like this for several dream-seconds,
he stopped,
rubbed the back of his neck,
and mumbled angrily.

I could not figure if he was threatening me
or asking for compensation.
Then I noticed I had a twisted front wheel,
and asked him
if I could hitch a ride back home in his car.
He balled his fists,
took a few paces towards me
and mumbled incoherently again.
This time, I did not try guessing the words.
I breathed in deeply and said,
“Sir, you aren’t quite audible
with the mask on.”

And I moved back
until a meter
again separated the two of us.

Day 8 of the 21-day lockdown​ in India​

2 thoughts on “Highway Hostility

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