Automated Light

Strange occurrences. Tonight I was driving home from an event for English PEN at the Pavilion as part of Brighton Festival. In a flash the night became a negative, an xray. White trees curled over the black hole in front of me, my frosted face stared back from the black window screen. A bleached stripe whipped across my eyes from the mirror. A second split by light.

But the evidence was already drawing together and the pixels were combining and downloading onto a hard drive to register beneath the words Traffic Violation. My details were flashing on a screen somewhere, the standard letter shunting out of a printer into an envelope folded and sealed.

As I arrive home the pre-stamped envelope swirls through the Royal Mail’s complex system of conveyor belts and metal arms, self selecting according to the automatically registered post code on the envelope. In two days it'll slip through my letterbox by hand of a whistling postman. And I’ll open it. Traffic Violation. And there’ll be the evidence. The photograph of me gripping the steering wheel by light of the full moon.

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