Backseat Driver in My Head by Samuel Cunningham

Okay, so here is the long and short of it. I am a bit of a reckless driver. I always have been. The first time I was able to get behind a wheel, it took thirty seconds for me to run a stop sign. While I don't do that anymore, I do still sometimes text and drive quite, which should convey the amount of raw stupidity I tend to drive with, along with the potential dangers that follow.

It is probably a little ironic then that I'm a delivery driver, but that's what I am. And as such, I have memorized road curves to a much larger degree than most other people. On dry days, I can be a speed demon too, taking turns and corners faster than you would expect. Since I trust my car a lot, this is a thing I do almost without thinking. With this in mind, now comes not one, but two stories, about a specific feeling I get when going around turns.

The feeling is more than a simple "I better be careful going around this turn." Instead, it is more of an "I know something is definitely ahead of me, and so I need to slow down." Gut intuition behind a wheel. A voice telling me that I have to stop. A backseat driver in my head.

The first time I specifically recall this phenomenon was after a drama club rehearsal. It was about ten at night, and I was driving home like I was ready to get to bed. That is because I was definitely ready to get to bed. I was taking a tight turn that starts the last stretch to my driveway, and I knew, KNEW, that there was at least one deer around that corner. Something told me, "Slow down. There are deer around the turn." So I quickly braked.

And there they were, not one but THREE deer around that corner. If I had not slowed down prior to that turn, I would have hit at least one.

The second story comes within the last year. The pizza shop I work at was at a busy point in the day. I was driving behind another car on Beulah Road, texting of course. Now, Beulah Road is a  very windy road, full of twists and turns and bends that blind you to what's next as you are driving it.

Anyway, I was coming up on a particular bend when something screamed out to me, "Someone's driving straight at you!!"

My chest went cold and my heart was seized with fear, hearing that voice. But I listened to it immediately. I knew that if there was someone coming over the curve of the hill in front of me that I was going to be hit almost head-on.

I swerved to the right side of the road. It turned out I did this just in time to save my life. Because speeding over the small hill was not one but two cars. If I had stayed where I was,  I would not only be taking the force of one car but two cars, as the second car would not have time to stop.

I am not sure I would be writing about this if I had not listened to that voice. That voice appeared from deep inside me. To this day, it makes me wonder about the nature of our consciousness.