Tag Archives: drive

Chair Stare

A lady in a wheelchair asked me “are you using this chair?” A part of me wanted to say, “don’t you already have a seat?” But the bigger part of me just stammered and shook my head; more so in confusion than in reply. She towed the wooden chair across the tile floor of the coffee shop, turning heads and whatnot, and then plopped it in front of a cushy armchair in the corner. She neither sat in the wooden chair, nor the cushy armchair. She was waiting for a friend, which cleared up my confusion about someone chair-bound asking for a chair, but when her friend came, she sat in the cushy armchair and the wooden chair just stood there, staring at them. After a few minutes the woman in the cushy armchair set her purse down on the wooden chair. I was still confused as to why the chair had been brought over, but at least it had a purpose, so I got back to work.

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Highway

As I was driving down the interstate somewhere between the bay and Sacramento, an attractive young girl passed me on the right, but slowed down and stayed even with me. I looked over and she was looking back and giggling to herself. I may have raised an eyebrow or two, but couldn’t figure what the fuss was about. She seemed so blissfully lost in the moment of taking her red coupe across the state… Why do attractive girls always drive fast red cars?

I swerved a little and figured I should pay attention to the road more than I was, but I couldn’t help but keep looking back over at her. There’s something so captivating when you make contact with someone on the highway. You’re both zooming by at deathly speeds, yet you stop and take the time to look each other in the eye. There’s no pressure, no expectations, and no formalities. You’re not ‘supposed’ to meet people on the highway. You probably won’t ever see them again. It’s like seeing a person stripped down without all the defenses they wear or disguises they put up in order to function in society. If you don’t see anything worth looking at, you look away and move on, or conversely, you keep looking to see what will happen in this short amount of time.

She pressed a napkin against the window and wrote on it, holding the pen cap in her teeth, and then turned it around. It was a phone number, and from the look on her face, it was hers. I checked my rear view so I didn’t get pulled over for texting, but there was no one around. I typed the number down and gave her a thumbs up. She winked and then sped off.

I never did see her again. I pulled over at the next rest stop thinking she might be there. I called the number. “We’re sorry. This number cannot be completed as dialed. Please hang up, or–” I must have typed it down wrong. There’s no spellcheck for phone numbers. I waited at the rest stop for quite some time looking back in the direction I came. I don’t know why. Maybe I was waiting for her to pull in to the rest stop, but the truth was she was zooming down the highway. Our encounter was so brief that I didn’t know what to make of it until it was gone, so I got back in my car and decided I have a lot of road ahead of me; and a lot of driving left to do.

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“You can turn the wheel all you want, but if you don’t step on the gas, you ain’t goin’ nowhere.”

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