Monday, June 2, 2014

The Green Truck

I get in my car and adjust the seat and the rear view mirror.  I start the car, buckle in, and back out onto the lane that runs for a quarter mile out onto the highway. I come to a complete stop and look both ways onto the five lane highway, two lanes going north, two going south and a middle lane for turning across traffic.
Far, far to my left I spot traffic zooming toward me, to my right one lone, apple green truck is heading my way.  Since I am turning left, I zip out onto the highway and land on the middle lane as if it was third base and I am considering stealing home. I check both mirrors and decide the green truck is far behind me and on the outside lane. I can ease out into the inside lane and we should both be fine. As soon as I venture out, he speeds up and honks at me with such anger I startle and grip the steering wheel.   
He passes me, obviously doing more than the 60 mph speed limit.  I follow behind, hoping he gets a speeding ticket.  He never slows down, not even when the speed limit drops to fifty.
I tootle to a stop at the red light, right behind the Green Truck.  All that fuss and we both got to the light at the same time.  All I can see of him is a skinny blonde head with a short buzz cut. The light turns and we both get onto the expressway. Now that he can pick up speed to seventy five, he does fifty. I turn on my blinkers and shoot out to the left lane.  Suddenly he zips in front of me and blocks my path, once again doing under the speed limit.  The traffic on our right is going faster than we are, so I zip back and so does he.
He is taunting me on purpose and I don’t want to play his game. I ease up on the gas and follow him.  He soon gets tired of me and zooms away, creating several car lengths between us. Maybe he will leave me alone now.  
As my exit approaches, I start my blinker and the truck slows down and overshoots the exit and jumps over the curb to get off with me. He slows down as we approach the green light, but as soon as it turns yellow he flies through and I sit at the red. Good, maybe now it will create some distance between us and I can finally rid of this road bully.
The bright Green Truck is half a block ahead of me as the light changes and I follow for a while, but I turn into the post office to leave some mail at the drive through mail box.  By the time I get back onto the street there is no sign of the Apple Green truck.  
I wonder why he was in such a hurry. Was he late for work? A hospital emergency? Maybe he was just living out some Fast and Furious fantasy? Maybe harassing gray-haired old women makes him feel more macho? Was he offended that a family sedan dared to show up his cool, souped up, late model truck?
I reach the grocery store, find a nice parking space near the entrance, and turn off the ignition. I reach for my recyclable tote bags and check my hair in the rear view mirror. As I open the car door, I hear a familiar rumble. An apple green truck sputters to a stop in the next row of cars across from me.  Out jumps a skinny, young man with a buzz cut.
How did we end up at the grocery store at the same time after I made a pit stop at the post office and he was tearing up the streets? I followed all the traffic rules and the speed limits, and I know he didn’t.
He is too busy reading a list of some sort in his hand and does not recognize me without my car as we both walk into the store together.  He grumbles about something on his list.  That is when I notice it is a traffic ticket. 
I give him a sweet grandmotherly smile as I pull a cart from its queue and race around him and into the store to do my weekly shopping. I leave him in my smoke.