There’s a certain overpass in San Diego where a couple of freeways intersect and there’s one particular stretch that always gives me butterflies because it seems as if you could keep going and fly off the road.
It’s not that I WANT to go flying, but it’s an unsettling primitive curious impulse, “…if I don’t follow the curve of the road and I keep going, I wonder what that would feel like…”
The French have a phrase that explains it far better than I could:
L’appel du vide
L’appel du vide literally means “the call of the void,” and describes a strong or compelling urge one might feel to jump or fall from a high place, such as from a tall building or precipitously soaring cliff.
L’appel du vide does not necessarily or often imply a suicidal or self-destructive longing to plummet from great heights, but rather perhaps a non-destructive urge or itch to try to fly from a cliff or tall building down into “the void.”
It’s a split second rumination, a momentary lapse of rational thought; a suspension of cerebral control — and of course I keep driving ON the road and the urge passes, but not without a bit of adrenal fight or flight activation and I don’t really like that feeling of losing control.
Whew! Just thinking about that causes a bit of anxiety which is why I usually avoid that area unless there’s no alternative course.
If you live in the San Diego area, can you figure out what freeway location I’m referring to?