It’s quarter past five. You’re in front of me on a bridge between two cities, just another set of wheels in a crawling interminable line of drivers heading home from the daily grind.
I can see your hands dancing. You are speaking animatedly to your passenger. Your eyes stay fixed on the road as we all inch slowly forward, but your restless hands are dancing, punctuating your speech, visiting the wheel only temporarily between gestures.
Your dark hair falls in short, springy curls that bounce with the emphasis of your words. Your passenger hasn’t gotten one word edgewise since I merged in behind you.
By the way, your left turn signal has been on for two kilometers.
It’s a Wednesday afternoon and the summer sun is relentless. In the frenzied rush hour turmoil approaching a major intersection, you swerve suddenly into my lane, cutting me off.
I am offered a brief glimpse of you impassively deep-throating a fat Fudgesicle, shoving it into your gaping maw with your non-veering hand as you breeze by. As you settle into place in front of me, I see your head continue to bob sharply over your frozen treat, devouring it with the kind of savagery I’ve seen dogs devote to fresh rawhide bones.
But your eyes in the rearview mirror are still dull and lifeless as you toss the naked stick aside and reach for another.
The passing lane clears. I move into it and leave your car behind, but the image of you and your soulless chocolate zombie stare follows me all the way home.
It’s nearing sunset on a cool evening. Past King Edward Avenue, traffic runs smooth as silk. I’m cruising down the last long stretch of road before my turn, singing along to the radio with my windows down and the wind in my hair.
There’s an alarming flash of candy apple red on my right flank as your car drifts over and tries to become one with mine. Thankfully I lean on the horn quickly enough for you to jerk back into your own lane and avoid impact.
My relief at escaping collision quickly gives way to anger. Your windows are down too. I lean across the armrest and scream at you to fucking pay attention, moron.
You refuse to make eye contact. You throw out a half-hearted wave of contrition and try to zoom ahead.
We still end up next to each other at the light.
I can see you shift uncomfortably as my eyes burn holes in you. You finally turn and meet my gaze. An expression of surprise and interest (?) crosses your face. And then you’re babbling, telling me you’re so sorry, you just weren’t looking, you’ll be more careful, if you’d realized there was a pretty lady driving right nex…wait…are you seriously HITTING ON ME after you almost just hit me, dude?
No no no no no. That’s not how this works. That’s not how any of this works.
And what, if there was an ugly man driving next to you you’d have just plowed right into him?
Where’s the flying car from Grease when I need it? Or that Tesla Roadster Elon Musk sent into space? I want off this street and into the sky; as far away from your delusional ass as I can get.
Pluto might be far enough.