On my way into work this morning, I got behind a red Ford Mustang, who was driving in the "fast" lane. Except he was going less than fast. I have a couple of theories about cars and the stickers that people put on them:
1.) If you put a NASCAR sticker on your car, you must go at least 10 miles per hour over the speed limit.
2.) If you are driving what would be classified as a sports car, you are not allowed to drive in the fast line while toodling at the speed limit.
When we approached a stop light, I took the opportunity to switch lanes and pull up next to him. I looked over at him, all set to take a glance and put him in the file that I'd created for him:
"Small Penis, Toupee, Gold Jewelry". Instead, when I made eye contact with him, my heart lurched. What I saw in his eyes wasn't a fifty year old leering at me, it was Panic, shaken, not stirred with Sadness. I smiled at him and tried to give him a look implying that things would get better. Sometimes hope in the smallest form can save you.
I imagined the forces that brought him to that brand-spanking new Mustang that he didn't feel comfortable driving. Midlife crisis? Boredom in the bedroom? Freedom looking shinier than bikes with streamers and smatterings of soccer balls, hula hoops and stray shoes across the yard?
Funny the emptiness that comes with the purging of the familiar in the Quest for Something Better. Who'd have guessed that maybe there was nothing better than a minivan with car seats, Disney DVD's, old french fries and a familiar face reclining in the seat next to you?