He turns another corner but still has no idea where he is. He’s running out of gas and it’s getting dark. He started worrying an hour ago and is approaching panic zone – that old ache in his neck is flaring up. Nothing looks familiar. He’s given up on trying to find his destination, he’s just trying to find his way back to anything he can recognize but damn these one way streets! Peering down a cross street he sees a statue that looks familiar – a bronze bust, abstracted – but the street there is one way (the wrong way). So he tries the next cross street hoping to circle around but one way leads to another way and when he finds the statue it turns out to be different from the one he remembered.
The engine sputters, shudders to a stop. He puts the car in neutral and drifts to the side of the road. He wants to cry. He wants to scream. He wants to tear the fucking steering wheel off and bludgeon the first person who walks by. His face taut, he puts the car in park and stares out the window. The last bit of sun disapears behind the horizon.
He takes a deep breath. He hears a faint humming, buzzing sound and looks to the left where he sees the statue he had been looking for. He thinks for a moment and by his calculations it should be on the right side of the road. So he turns his head to the right and sees the exact same statue. He looks left again and now there are two of them, one in the middle of the road. There is a sudden explosion of sound and the front of his car lurches upwards. In his rear view mirror he sees that the top half of another statue has dented in his trunk and crashed through the rear window. Past his rear view he sees a blur of movement then a wall of statues at his front bumper. He tries to get out but they block the door. The buzzing sound has become an invasive, oppressive presence – a Wagnerian orchestra of hunter bees, tripple forte.
He is cowering now, too scared to be confused. They’re everywhere, taller now and arching over him so that they block the twilight from the sky. He opens his mouth intending to yell but can only manage a trembling whispering, “who are you?”
A jolt runs through his body and he’s sure he’s been impaled by one of them but it’s just the front end of his car crashing back to the ground. Sound fills his car but he realizes that it’s just him screaming so he stops. The only sound left is Louis Armstrong singing “what a wonderful world.” He switches off the radio and now everything is silent, still. His car, the street, the sky – all clear and free.
He closes his eyes and thinks, “that was a close one.”