The Missing Link

It’s like suddenly you’re in the middle of an old folk song. It’s olden times and it’s a toe tappin′ celebration because you’re finally driving the Missing Link. Even if it’s just a hill people told you about you got excited maybe because you’re already slightly deranged. Not seriously messed up. Just the way everyone’s messed up.

It sounded like an adventure, like the Karakorum Highway.  It’s a special patch of road. It’s famous. I’ll drive the Missing Link. I’ll drive it alright. I’ll be scared to death but I’ll drive it. And if there’s bandits, well, bandits then.

The Missing Link. What it is and how it got this way. I wish I knew but I don’t wish that hard because what’s knowable ultimately?  Yes, a few things. You need understanding. What was lost now is found. It’s got something to do with that. It was a link that was missing, whereabouts unknown until it showed up here.

And it had to have been a big job punching it through. But you don’t care right now. You just want to get over. It’s your first time and you’re behind the wheel and if you don’t make it to Winter Cove there’ll be some seriously unhappy people. You owe money and have it in your hot little pocket but the debt is actually incalculable and can never be repaid. And you’re dying to save those people and say your thank yous.

So what’s to make of this solution to an evolutionary puzzle? It’s a narrow winding road and like life has it’s ups and downs and again the edge is right there, especially down that one stretch there if you’re transiting from the enchanted haven of Winter Cove or the mysterious east. They drive on the right here and it’s something to remember.

You can drive over the edge, slide over it, crash over it or push this useless piece of junk over it and if you miss the trees you can really go for a tumble. And it’s just littering. There’s nothing good about it. I’d be scared half to death. There’s nothing stopping you except maybe those few trees and you could get hurt really bad. That would be awful!

Danger is everywhere though. It’s a dangerous world. You cross dangerous seas in a ferry that is in itself dangerous to get here from another place that is definitely dangerous if you don’t mix in the right company, and sometimes even if you do. It’s obvious you love danger. It’s why you’re here. There’s no use complaining about it. You’ve been exposed.

I can’t help it. I’m reminded of the south of France. At least driving the Missing Link in fall. Mingled with the conifers a deciduous paradise of falling leaves in pale afternoon sunlight. How romantic. All that’s missing is the equestrian statue of Napoleon. The horse is rearing on two legs and the little corporal is signaling the way forward. Come my children!

You never know what you might be reminded of any time of year and I’ve experienced that in every season. I’ve never gone sliding down the Missing Link by car in a snowstorm but I know it’s out there if I’m determined and wait long enough. It’d be exciting the way a nightmare is exciting.

The Missing Link is a departure. It doesn’t matter which way you come at it. And it’s all downhill after you’re over the hump. That’s the best part. And there’s always an element of fantasy. There has to be with a name like that. It can’t be the “Missing Link” if there’s no adventure. It can’t just be another dull, ordinary stretch of road. You’re going to be fine. This is what they were telling me just before I lost consciousness. I was drifting in and out.

Enough. Let’s get serious. People drive up and down the Missing link all the time without incident. And then there’s the cyclists. The one thing I haven’t done is pound up here on a bike but I know people who have. I certainly share at least one sentiment with them. It feels good when you stop.