Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Walk it Off...Tomorrow's a New Day

I'm driving to work today, contentedly eating my wheat toast that my boyfriend made for me and sipping soy milk out of a sippy cup with straw (why does everything taste better out of a sippy cup?). We (boyfriend is driving ahead of me, soon to turn left where I continue straight) veer around a car letting 2 or 3 small children out to attend Mason Elementary School.

I'm driving straight, wave goodbye to the boyfriend where we go our seperate ways, and I'm sitting at the light. Mmmm, this toast is delicious and I wish I'd brought more soy mild with me. I feel very relaxed.

I look in the rearview mirror and see the car that let all the children out. There's a man in the car, perhaps creeping up on 60 years-old, and he looks tired. His brow is furrowed, flat palm against his forhead, eyes closed. He's taking a moment to sit still, perhaps to rest, perhaps to ponder something that lie ahead in his day. Either way, he looked stressed.

I start to make up little stories in my head...he's dropping off his grandkids whose mother (his daughter) didn't come home last night...he has to go help his purebred poodle birth the bastard poodle/pitt bull mix puppies that were the result of his haste in not closing the yard gate...he lost his job and doesn't know where to go after he's completed his one concrete responsibility for the day.

The light turns green and I pause before slowly lurching forward (I tweeked my left knee and driving stick with a brace on is tricky). He didn't honk, he didn't pump his fist at my delayed start. The car behind him honks. As he begins to look up, he slowly wipes his hand over his eyes, opens them, and begins to follow me through the intersection.

We're passing two yards, each with a pitt bull in them (perhaps one was the father of his poodle's puppies). One is still as a statue, the other is ferociously barking in the other's face...yet wagging his tail.

The man remains behind me, but at a much slower pace. When he turns onto a side street, I give a quick wish that the rest of his day unravels with secret surprises (good ones...not ones like his 58 year-old wife is pregnant), and unexpected delights.

One day soon I'll be the one with my hand on my forehead. Perhaps he'll be ahead and wish the same for me. I wish for him that this is a temporary place for him to be...that tomorrow's better.


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