Running On Empty (A Recurring Dream)

Saturday 18th August

I feel tired, but tired beyond tired.  Nothing seems to register anymore -news, politics – all pass me by in a blur of senseless information.  I feel I am running on empty.  My reserve tanks are empty and I am drifting.  Sometimes I am drifting in space, like Major Tom himself.  Sometimes I am walking, trudging along, stumbling down a road with no direction signs, simply putting one foot wearily in front of the other, my eyes fixed on the never-ending tarmac.  Sometimes I am in a car, though I am no driver – and there is no driver beside me either, but somehow the car rolls on and on.  No engine noise – the car is running on empty too.  I am alone, on a never-ending road.  I am always alone.  I have always been alone; never had a friend I could confide in; I discovered long ago that parents and teachers are not to be told things, not about your feelings, not about anything that really matters..  And sometimes I feel I have been running on empty for ever; maybe other people feel it too – how can you tell; they all seem happy enough – but then, so do I; so what does that tell you?  I wake every morning and feel so old, as if my life has been draining out for days, weeks, months – and this is indeed the last day.  The road stretches on but I feel the car is slowing, running out of fuel too.  And there is an incline ahead, a slight slope and I can feel the car visibly slowing as we crawl slowly up.  Whether the car will actually grind to a halt or will suddenly pick up speed as we crest the hill and the road dips again I am not sure.  I have no control, there is no accelerator pedal this side, and no brake either.  There is no engine noise – we are running on empty, gazing blankly as the countryside drifts slowly by..

And there, just up ahead the road disappears and the grey tarmac rises up into a wall and still the car drifts on, running on empty.  And just before we crash and I discover pain or oblivion – I wake up.  But then I wonder if I were really asleep or awake all the time.