Heading westwards home. A point on the M5, just before Taunton, where sometimes I lose myself. It happens usually at dusk, as the headlights begin to flash by on the other side of the motorway, like light pulsing along a fibre-optic cable. Quick illumination. In front of me, as twilight takes away sharpness, I begin to see the hovering red of rear lights. A motorway running smoothly.

The surface of the M5 turns to concrete somewhere around Bridgewater and road noise becomes perceptible. A lulling drone felt between physical slaps as tyre meets the edge of new concrete; a slowly repeating rhythm for me the driver.

Just after junction 15 – the exit for the A358 – the memory of a hundred journeys, all running through this point, come rushing back; crowding into consciousness. The strands of an unwound wire traced backwards towards unity. Sometimes I begin to cry. Sometimes the feeling of ‘me’ goes altogether, then I feel lifted above the vehicle; dislocated. I look down from twilight and solitude on a car driving south and a person coming home. Travelling disembodied, transitioning from new life back to old.


April 2002