The Preener. The Socialite. The Eater. The Musician. The Sleeper. Five drivers, five vices, five stories, and five crashes. *WHITE FLASH* The Preener looks into her rearview mirror, but instead of seeing the car behind her she sees herself… myself… ourself? I may reflect the world around me, but with her all I wish to show is her face, or rather her flaws. Her eyeliner stops short of the edge, her lipstick is slightly smudged, her foundation is starting to fade. Who will she impress if I don’t show her all this? I hear people nearby say I’m dangerous, but all I do is keep her focused on what’s important. Her eyebrows perfectly plucked, her hair in just the right place, her skin glowing with a beautiful red… Red? There’s no red lights in the ca- *RED FLASH* The Socialite is so popular, I can’t believe how many friends he has! My contacts list is overflowing with numbers, and his car is always full. He can hardly put me down, and I love feeling so special! Like right now, he’s asking out the most well known girl in the whole school! I’ll post it and tell all his friends and family and… is my GPS right? It says he’s going 80, but he’s not that reckless. He just swiped on the notification, so it must just be an error or something. I mean, the turn up ahead is pretty sharp and he goes this way all the time. He’ll be fine, *CRUNCH* The Eater sure is an expert at this! Both hands on me and using her knees to control the wheel? Genius! After all, how else do you eat a family size bag like me? I bet that driver ahead of us would agree, maybe we’ll ask at that stop sign ahead. Um, she does see it right? Oh nevermind, she’s getting some more chips. I’m sure she’ll finish before we get there. See? She’s looking up now, but she does look a little sc- Whoa! *SCREECH* The Musician always knows just what to play. I’ve got all her favorite stations preset, and I’m always at full blast. It rocks! We just listen to the newest hits and jam out together, singing together like there’s no one else around! Oops, looks like our turn is up ahead. She always forgets and rushes to the turn lane, but she might miss it today. That car’s in the way, so she’ll- Why is she turning? Doesn’t she hear the honking? *ZZZ* The Sleeper loves to turn me up on long drives, the heat helps him relax. I blow the warm air all over, like a blanket. He’s been driving all day and deserves to relax. I’m sure closing his eyes for a minute won’t hurt. After all, he’s an experienced driver. He’ll keep control of the wheel, he’ll stop this veering. He’ll be safe. The Preener. The Socialite. The Eater. The Musician. The Sleeper. All were behind the wheel, but were any truly the Controller? All of their vices, the mirror, the phone, the chips, the radio, and the heater, controlled them. They aren’t negative life influences, but they shouldn’t be anything more than a tool or a snack when fully stopped. They can’t drive, but they can still control you. When you drive, put the distractions away, and be the Controller.
There are many distractions, but there’s always that one that we don’t consider a “real” distraction.