Same song on the radio when he left the driveway this morning. There it was again. A bold and heartbreaking song hidden under the rumbling motor hum. Unnoticeable except for that repeating lyric that he unconsciously repeated under his breath. But he wasn’t really listening. Not really singing. He wasn’t moved at all by the devastating words that bellowed deep within the speakers.
A aged warbled voice that he could barley hear, that voice never intended to be ignored in mundane travels. This musician did not agonize over every note so that busy people would forget every word he sang. No doubt he scraped together his very own pain and hope and beauty to fit those vocables together just right. To speak a true thing. To sound an unforgettable melody.
But he didn’t hear any of that. Overwhelmed with the last thing to the next. Overrun with the business of living working and dying. Over-stimulated by the under-stimulating. Zombie eyes and fuzzy ears moving through the days. Speeding down the freeway at a steady 72 mph.
He looked over his shoulder to change lanes. A little black convertible caught his eye in the side view mirror. Going the same speed, the two vehicles could have been at a dead stop beside one another. Captivated, he looked a little too long. Admiring that sleek smooth body. Watching the afternoon sun highlight the crystal shine bumper. Thrilled by the sharp piercing black paint commanding too much of his attention.
Shocked back into reality, remembering that he was responsible for driving. On the freeway. On the way home to fix the broken toilet, again. He quickly focused his gaze out the front window back on to the road that lay ahead. Embarrassed. Trying not to look in that side view mirror again. At that sexy car.
For a few minutes, they drove along. Buzzing forgotten music, racing trees blurred in his peripheral vision. But then he saw that car, one more time. Right next to him. Equal and even hovering not even an arms length away, in the lane next to him. He couldn’t help but look now. So close. So beautiful. And who was inside there. He needed to know more.
Side windows lined up, He looked inside. She looked inside. She smiled. Warm and seductive. He smiled back and couldn’t look away. Just yet. Bright eyes, exciting and dangerous. Sweater pulled tight around her waist. Slender fingers tapping carelessly on the steering wheel. Hair falling over her neck, her shoulder, her back.
The cars floated beside each other. He would look over, she would glance back. For an extended moment, in freeway time, the black convertible and grey truck accompanied each other along the road. Muted conversation, incomplete understanding, strange courtship that was born in imagination. A drive which created an inconceivable connection. A journey that would inevitably end at different destinations.
And then it happened. He already knew it was coming. She winked. He held his breath. Stepping hard on the gas, she made an impressive exit, speeding far ahead.
And his eyes were drawn back to the road in front of him. Making that final left turn into his quiet, familiar neighborhood. Leaving him with an ancient dream dredged up unexpectedly. Leaving him watching an undefined reality disappear. Leaving him suddenly empathizing with the soul-crushed refrain on the radio. And what did any of this really mean.
People like friends
People like beauty
People like sex
People like to dream