I glance at the rearview mirror.
This is how it always starts. One glance when backing out. One glance for each bump. One glance for the mere thought of a bump. One glance when approaching a bump. I can't stop looking at that mirror. Anyone who has ridden with me in my car can attest to this phenomenon. On multiple occasions, I have mistaken sticks on the roads for cats hours after the fact; suddenly, I'm walking down the road with a flashlight.
It's a cancer, and it's metastasized. I'm hundreds of miles away from home -- did I lock the front door? Where's the dog? How many people have I hit today? These questions -- and more -- spread like a virus and infect each memory, each subjective experience. I am driving and I am not fully there; a quarter of me is seconds behind, asking these questions, peering into that rearview mirror.
You have to check the rearview mirror; there's no denying that. But at what point can I look away?