The Disappearing Car
In 1994, I had been driving my red Mitsubishi Eclipse for a year. One summer evening, I was on my way home on a nearly empty freeway. At some point, I noticed a silver sedan pull into my passenger’s side blind spot. To mitigate the problem, I slowed down and sped up. Unfortunately, the driver matched my speed. Quite annoying.
Because I could not directly see the car in my mirror, I had to crane my neck around to spot their headlights. After a few twists, I developed a routine. I looked ahead for a ten count, then at my speedometer, and then craned around. This routine went on about twenty times, and then, poof! I did not see the sedan. Where did it go? There were no nearby exits, and I had enough light to see cars (even without headlights) behind me.
Four explanations could explain what occurred. The most likely is that I lost track of time, and the car exited. The second is an optical illusion or visual mistake. Another possibility is that I made this story up, dreamed it, or did not remembering it correctly.
Of course, I immediately ruled out those logical explanations. The car disappeared! Yes, the law of physics went out the window, and the car teleported away just like on Star Trek. Is this explanation logical? Of course not. Yet, I told all my friends about my fantastic event.
Did I believe this outrageous explanation? To my four blog readers, I wish to be honest. Clearly, the car did not vanish, but I 100% believed it did. Why? I think a part of me wanted something unique to happen. Another aspect of me was stunned by the sudden action and refused to accept my time tracking failure.
Was I too immature (illogical) to accept a rational explanation? I have always been a logical person and possessed the mental foundation to understand the difference between what is possible and impossible. Yet, I allowed myself to step into fantasy.
Over time, this powerful memory got replaced by logic. The first explanation is probably what occurred. Why did it take me many years to see the truth? I suppose age brings wisdom.
There is an edge between fiction and delusion. However, there is another aspect to this discussion. When readers pick up a fictional book, we know the story is not real. Yet, we turn off our logic and let our minds drift. We drift farther into the impossible. Magic, talking robots, ghosts, time travel, and dragons are all possible. This line can be blurry because authors push the envelope, use real-life events, and want their readers to dive into fantasy.
Humans have a deep desire to accept the unacceptable and genuinely want to believe. Star Wars themed weddings? Of course. I suppose the edge of reality makes fiction appealing.
You’re the best -Bill
March 17, 2021
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