A Drive Through Heartbreak City

Here is a video animation of an excerpt from the novel “Take The Highway“. Imagine you are driving a car through heartbreak city trying to find an exit. What twists and turns would you take to make it through? Watch the video first, then read the rest of the story.

To start this video I had to draw a map. You can see view Heartbreak Coloring Page here. In color or in a version that you get to color in.

So here is the excerpt from the novel Take The Highway

Allow me to be your guide on a typical drive through heartbreak city. First you must visit denial square, where you must admire the Everything Is Fine statue. It was built by a brilliant artist who created it out of clear glass to make it invisible. I would be happy to describe what it looks like except I am yet to see it. I’ve been told by others that it is there. Take a right on Despair Avenue towards the Endless Junk Food Roundabout. There you shall circle so many times that you lose count. It has been scientifically proven that eating ice-cream, chocolate and potato chips is effective in reducing the emotional distress caused by heartbreak. To help you with the self-loathing that will follow this overindulgence, you will exit the roundabout to take a dip in the Netflix Binge Watching pool. The instant gratification you will experience from watching sappy shows will make you almost forget where you are. Almost being the keyword. You can never outdrive a heartbreak. Once your exercise is done — yes, laying on the couch while watching Downton Abbey is exercise — you will continue for a visit to the Everything I Did Wrong Museum where you shall remind yourself of all your shortcomings. That wrong turn of phrase that led to a misunderstanding. The wardrobe malfunction at the office Christmas party. All the times you weren’t your best and most beautiful self. To conclude the educational part of the day, you shall plunge into the Self Hatred Roundabout. Circling once shall suffice at this juncture. A single dose of staring into the dark abyss of your soul will last you for 24 hours. Finally, when you are dizzy and nauseous from all the circling you shall exit the roundabout and head towards the Stalking Bush, there you shall obsess over every tweet and facebook post your ex has made since your breakup. Fortunately, nobody knows that you are doing this, so you come across as sane to the non-residents of this city. You will see the picture of the new keychain that your ex has purchased and infer that he must have discarded the jade and silver keychain you bought for his birthday. This will trigger a trip to Seething Anger Bay. Along these shores you will remember all the mean things your ex has done and said over the years. You won’t be able to contain your rage and so you will pick up a stone to throw it into the sea. This will disturb all the sea creatures and they will swim to the surface to mock you. The crab, the fish and the octopus shall emerge to point a finger at you and laugh at your idiocy. The embarrassment will force you to get back into your car and drive over Despair Bridge. And for a moment you will think: “Yes! A Bridge! Surely this is the exit from this horrendous Heartbreak City!” but you are wrong. No matter what you do you will find yourself doing a U-turn and driving back into the dark heart of the city you are yearning to leave. Surely there must a way to exit this place? But so far you haven’t found it.

I don’t like anything in this city. I don’t even like myself in it. Well! At least I haven’t lost my sense of humor. So I guess there is one thing I do like. Hopefully I won’t lose it in this horrid locale.

My friend Stephanie says that I need to learn patience. For there are no short cuts and no efficient ways to get through this.

I have many great qualities and patience is not one of them. I face life’s challenges head on and straight ahead. A no-nonsense approach is my favourite approach. Just get on with it. I have no time for wallowing in self pity. No patience for bemoaning the unfairness of this world. “Who cares? It is what it is and you just need to deal with it. Get on with it. Snap out of it. Do what needs to get done.” I usually tell myself. But standing here, in this endless pool of sorrow with no solid ground in sight, none of my usual tricks seems to be working. The harder I work the more sadness I generate. Stephanie told me that I need to read “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle. I told her my power of now is “I want it now, right away, all at once.” She laughed at my foolishness and said:” that is exactly why you need to read the book”. I am extremely skeptical of self-help books. I don’t need to read a book, I just need to use my common sense. There has to be an exit from heartbreak city. There just has to be.

I refuse to learn patience. It’s just not me. Patience is not my personality. I hate waiting, even for the bus, even waiting in line at the supermarket. I am determined that this experience will not ruin my essence and teach me patience. I guess I am stubborn that way. Patience is for people who have nothing better to do. Why wait for stuff when you can run out and grab it? Yalla, yalla, andele, andele, come on and hurry up and get on with it. I want to snap my fingers to hurry things up. I am standing and fidgeting. Shifting my weight from one foot to the other. I am looking at my watch. I am biting my lower lip. Pulling at my hair. Tapping one foot, the other foot, then tapping my fingers. Are there any other impatient gestures that I can make? Perhaps I should jump up and down. Maybe I should kick some object. Perhaps there is some secret impatient gesture that I don’t know about. I might try dancing the macarena in my imaginary car.

I have been plowing through this city for ages. But I am no longer lost in it. I have visited every nook and cranny at least once. I have driven across every street and road. Visited each house and monument. Walked in the parks and admired the vistas. It’s high time to find the exit.


What do you think? Are there features in heartbreak city that I missed? Let me know in the comment section below.

To create this video I used images from freepik.com

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