-- a series of vignettes --
As a person who spends 30% of her waking hours in her car, I've grown used to taking in everything in one quick sidelong glance as I shoot past or round the corner. Sometimes what I see is crystal clear in content as well as intent, but not always...
A gray Honda with bashed-in fenders cuts me off to stop. Stickers plaster the rubberized bumper.
Red and white with peeling corners, decorating the left-hand edge. "I love my career. I'm a volunteer."
Beside it clings a yellow square with green letters beckoning me to "Mexicali Park -- the Fiesta of My Dreams". Si,.
The light cycles with bovine slowness, one lane at a time. I tap my fingers to the radio's tune.
"I don't care how your ancestors did it in South Dakota." Blue and white, rife with suppressed rage and bitterness.
I begin to wonder about the occupant -- broad of shoulder and very tall.
One last sticker. Black and white declaring, "I Saw What You Did!"
The car beside me revs again, the nondescript middle-ager draped around the steering wheel of his mud-green sedan; mousy brown hair too long for his looks. Shirt cuffs dragging below the sleeves. Two buttons on a three-button sleeve. He rocks back and forth, black eyes burning a vision past the crest of a hawkish nose. He turns and glares at me, lip curled in unreasoning sneer. Then his eyes alight on the Honda's bumper. The sockets widen; the lips repeat the five black words. His head swivels back; vile words of accusation spit against the window.
Not I, I want to say, but...
He rattles the door, jammed in traffic, starting to open as he finds the handle....
What did you do? I find the gas, and I'm gone.