Pick Me!

A weblog by Laura Moncur


That Special Car

Filed under: Philosophy — Laura Moncur @ 6:46 am

My schedule is regular. I work 8 am to 5 pm every Monday through Friday. When we are slow, I get every other Friday off. I drive the same route to work every day. I’ve heard that when I’m feeling like I’m in a rut that I should drive to work via a different route, but I’m loathe to do it. I have found the most efficient route and I am reluctant to vary it, even for variety.

Oregano is the spice of life. Henry J. Tillman

I used to see the car every morning. On the intersection of 1500 South and 500 West in Woods Cross, I wait every morning to turn left. The car would be heading south on 500 West right through the light. It was one of the cars that needed to get out of my way before I could turn, but it was special.

I drive a lime green New Beetle right now, but this car is a different hue of green. This special car is almost a neon green. It is not a color that occurs in nature except in the deepest ocean. The furtive and luminescent fish that don this color hide from us, so we are surprised when we see that color and it doesn’t hide. That car never hid. It brazenly drove right past me every day.

Then something changed. For the last couple of months, I haven’t seen that special car in the morning. I don’t know if I have been coming a millisecond too late or if it has been leaving a millisecond earlier, but I haven’t seen it. My incredible sense of self worth decided that the driver of the car was purposely trying to miss me. Two green cars with hues just different enough to clash. The driver was avoiding me. Paranoia strikes.

Even paranoids have real enemies. Delmore Schwartz

The other day, I left work later than I normally do. It was my turn to be heading south on 500 West and that special car was heading north. Seeing it was like being greeted by an old friend. After months of being missing in action, my buddy had resurfaced. I felt like waving to the stranger behind the wheel.

I left ten minutes later than normal. The difference of ten minutes was the only distinction. How many people do we see every day that we would miss if we arrived to work ten minutes earlier? How many people do we miss seeing because we don’t stay late at work? Whether we notice it or not, we see the same people every day.

Stranger, if you passing meet me and desire to speak to me, why should you not speak to me? And why should I not speak to you? Walt Whitman (1819 – 1892), Leaves of Grass

Even though we don’t speak to them, they are our brothers in arms. They are struggling with the same traffic jams. They are faced with the same snow storms and blinding sunshine. They are groping with the same burdens of life, work and death. It will probably be months before I see that special car again. I’ve never talked to the person behind the wheel, but I still consider him my friend. That’s why I’ll be driving the same route to work tomorrow. Variety be damned.


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