Ramblings from the Desert

The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either. ~Benjamin Franklin

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Location: New Mexico

Author of the urban fantasy novel, The Music of Chaos, and the paranormal romance, The Canvas Thief.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Playing In Traffic

Someone is following me as I walk through the parking lot.

Their presence is felt as a ferocious intensity that bores through my jacket. I turn my head just enough to catch a glimpse of my pursuer out of the corner of my eye. It's a red minivan, piloted by a pudgy Soccer Mom. I swear I saw that same van circling the lot, searching for a parking spot within spitting distance from the store's door, when I first arrived. I've done my shopping; she's still hasn't parked the land yacht.

I pull keys from my jacket pocket and focus on the dark blue Mini several yards away. "There it is," I think. "My car. Yessiree. That's my car. So bright, so shiny. The Precious." Behind me I can almost hear Soccer Mom's enlarged heart starting to race in anticipation. The mini van rushes forward to make its claim.

I turn at the Mini on the driver's side and...proceed to march past the door and on through to the next row of vehicles. Waiting for me in that row is another super-sized driver in an Escalade.
A quick perusal of the lot shows several other members of Club Sloth burning through petrol, stalking shoppers, hoping for the perfect parking spot.

I feel like a tiny herbivorous dinosaur with a pack of velociraptors on its tail. Except this bunch are slow-witted and lumbering. They follow in my wake for a few more yards, stupidly unaware that my car is the little Korean P.O.S. sitting at the far end of the lot. Eventually, after I pass the mark that they would never dare cross--the distance where calories get burned--they fall off and go in search of other lazier prey.

Then it's on home through holiday-crazed traffic. I hit one of the main corridors and see a white mini-van in the bicycle lane. Driving in the bicycle lane. Passing the vehicle, I see that it's driven by the oldest driver in the world. With age his head has shrunk, but his ears enlarged. Lookie, it's Gollum and he's got himself a Dodge Caravan! And he's cruising the bike lane.

I guess you can't blame him. Albuquerque gets rather carried away with bike lanes, making them as wide as a car lane. Still, you'd think the big white bicycle symbols painted on the asphalt might clue him in. Maybe he thinks they're like the chalk outlines at a crime scene.

I have an urge to pull into the bike lane ahead of him. And then slow down. Would Smeagal pass me, or would he tailgate, shakings his bony fist and cursing "Wicked and tricksy young driverzz"?

The turn-off for my road comes up and I miss my chance to torment the age-impaired driver. Mischief postponed for another day, I head home to wrap gifts and spread real holiday cheer.



Graphics and Content Copyright © Patricia Kirby 2005