Plot lines bloom in the nebula of my head. I’ve drifted into a fictional world, and I’m lost in my own thoughts because I drive this way all the time. The highway signs and vehicles of morning rush hour pass in a haze of inattention while the radio plays classical, an appropriate soundtrack for combating potential road rage.
Sometimes it even works.
A black sport utility vehicle a few cars ahead drifts toward the wide, grassy median separating the northbound and southbound lanes, and suddenly I’m yanked out of my reverie by a tightness in my guts. The SUV’s tires cross the white line and I instinctively slow down. I figure the driver will correct the vehicle, but no, the SUV keeps going right over the rumble strip until the tires on its left side are on the grass, and the tires on its right are on the pavement.
Don’t jerk the wheel! I think.
When one does that, chances are the vehicle will either spin out or roll over, since its tires will be riding on two very different materials; the sudden torque will usually carry it to a nasty ending. The driver doesn’t perceive my telepathic warning, jerking the wheel in a panic to get back on the highway …