Looking up from counting coins in my change tray, I notice the car ahead of me in the fast food drive-thru is the same make and model as mine. Not too strange, I tell myself. I do drive one of the most prolifically produced sedans of the last 10 years. Scanning through the local radio stations, I come to rest on ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go’ from Wham! halfway through. Shit, I am gonna miss that guy. I mean, I don’t play for the same team, but if I did…
I am brought back to the present queue when I see the person in front of me reach out to hand their payment to the employee in the window. Their arm is covered in the same blue fleece I’m wearing. “No way,” I mutter to myself. See, I understand statistics pretty well. There are millions of this car on the road, millions of people with blue fleece jackets, and millions of people that enjoy mass-produced bean paste in questionably sourced tortillas. According the numbers, it is actually strange that this kind of thing doesn’t happen more often.
After a shockingly short wait, I’ve got my “food” and start making my way out of the parking lot. Approaching the exit, I’m mildly surprised to see the same car there, with his left directional light flashing. It’s rare for someone to turn left out of here as this busy road is a real hassle. He must really need to go that way. Another statistical anomaly allows us both to turn onto the road at the same time.
After about a mile and half, and dozen poorly calibrated stoplights, I am still behind my four door mirror image and am approaching the store I need to stop at. A fraction of second before I hit my turn signal, his starts flashing to the right. The same direction I need to turn. I suppose stranger things have happened, so I proceed with my approach.
We both turn into the shopping complex. I don’t use the word ‘complex’ lightly. To be accurate, it is more of a shopping campus. Tons of stores. Myriad mini-streets and parking decks. I am heading to the back of this consumer-tropolis. There is a little store hidden there that sells RPG books, board games, many sided dice, everything a nerd like me needs. They hardly make enough to keep the doors open. I could buy what I need cheaper online, but the owner is trying to live his dream and I am more than happy to help.
It’s a bit of a maze to navigate, so I am increasingly curious as to why to the same car is still in front of me and still traveling in the same direction. As I, or rather, we approach Guild Master’s Supply, I am over overcome with an uneasiness I have not experienced outside of required public speaking obligations at my workplace. As I watch the car make its way to the only storefront on this side of the center, the only shop I had any attention of entering, my nervousness takes over and I abort mission. Rather than pull into the many, many open parking spots, I give those four cylinders the go-juice and start to speed away. At that very moment, the last thing I expected happened, the car, the same car as mine, changes course and drives out the same direction I was going.
Believe it or not, there is only one way in and one out of this brick and mortar monolith. And he, or it, or whatever, was heading to the exit, just like me. We reach the intersection that provides the egress back to a surface street and he starts merging into the right turn. The same lane I need to be in. I figure it’s a big and city, and there is a hell of a lot of stuff to the right, so I proceed with caution.
I have one more stop I need to make. My wife messaged me earlier and asked me pick up a thing or two at the local grocer. I select the shops I frequent based on one single metric: how fast do their checkout lines move. I will literally pay double for the same product if I don’t to sit and watch some pimply faced jackass struggle with cracking open the next roll of quarters for three minutes while I am waiting to check out with my one item. Damn kids, if you going to work a shit job, at least get it done. I don’t need whole-assing, half-assing will be a welcome deviation from the norm. But back to my current and more pressing matter, half a block before my favorite store, the silver emulation before for me hits his turn signal indicating an intent to go the same way as me. Well, I am officially in NTFO territory (nope the fuck out).
I abort the current mission carry on straight ahead. This is too damn weird for me. But, to my shock, and mild horror, the car in front undoes his directional and proceeds straight as well. This is far, far too much too much chalk up to stats. I believe in the hard sciences like you would not believe, but this is out of control. How could someone, wearing my jacket, driving my car, decide then undecide to go the same two place I was going to go. I decide run a bit of a gauntlet. I’m going to veer off into a subdivision and see what happens. I plan left, right, left, straight, U-turn, but it doesn’t matter, whatever this thing is that is following from ahead of me starts the same turn or not turn that I was planning. How can I escape something that isn’t even behind me??
This is too much, I have to go to the only place where I truly fee safe…home. I need to go home. My wife, our kids, that is where I have to be. Nothing can scare us there. She, they, are my world, we are invincible together.
To my terror and unfortunate lack of surprise, the car in front of me makes all the same turns to get to our home. We pull into our neighborhood together. As has become predictable in this awful afternoon, we both navigate our way to my house. He parks in the drive before me and as I ease to a stop on the street before my home, I see myself emerge from the, my, car in the drive. I, he steps out and walks to the door. In a painful numbness, I step out as well and take the labored steps toward my front stoop. He, it, got there first. He opened the apparently unlocked door, and reached one hand into our foyer. He turned around with a brown paper bag in his hand. Walking slowing to me, he, I, made the briefest eye contact and he handed me the paper bag. He proceeded past and got into my car. My car was parked at the top of the drive as I had pulled in behind him.
Still unable to wrap my brain around what is happening, I fumble with the paper sack in my hand. My eyes glued to my car driving out of the neighborhood, I almost absentmindedly reach into the wrinkled bag. To what I guess I would still call my surprise, I withdraw a blood soaked hammer just as I hear the police sirens in the distance.

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