Tilt

The car merged across four lanes of slow-moving traffic onto the on-ramp, when the world turned around and I was hanging to the side of a cliff.

The car’s wheels stuck to the ground, the air-freshener still pointed in the direction of the road, and the rest of the surroundings kept their normal orientation, but now I was seeing the highway in an unfamiliar light.

When a plane takes off you notice it, right? The cabin is tilted upward, away from Earth’s surface and toward the sky, and you somehow can tell, can look down the long stretch of the carpeted surface of that strange aluminum tube and somehow see that, yes, it is pointed up, even though you’ve not moved, that the belt around your waist is still nice and snug. You can look “up”, in the direction of the cockpit, and appreciate that the people in front of you are higher, in some sense, than you are.

Same thing here. The car continued its forward trajectory through the on-ramp and I banked into the turn, but all along the world seemed to stand on edge. I was driving on a vertical wall, banking further up the wall, moving in an impossible way, stuck to a cliff and continued our upward progression.

I glimpsed cars in my mirrors and they continued on their merry way, oblivious to the fact that the Earth was now exerting a completely different pull on us, that we were now stuck to this planet in a whole new imaginative way, something worthy of a crappy sci-fi series on a cable channel or a one-off episode of a teenage-angst-meets-super-hero show.

Then the bit of wax in my ear stopped moving and the world rotated back to its former orientation and the moment passed. Damn, I need to clean my ears more often.

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