Episode Four

It’s 11:48 PM. I’m in a ’96 Oldsmobile, listening to rap blasting through my speakers, and I close my eyes because I want to shut everything out except the guitar solo, as I only listened to the type of rap music that would have guitar solos and lyrics filled with Bukowski references. I am completely alone. The light has turned green while my eyes were closed, yet I stare at the lights with eyes open, waiting for something to happen. No one behind me honks. I’m not sure they noticed. It’s eight miles and ten minutes later that I hit another red light. There is a woman in a green sedan stopped at the intersection, and I ease my car next to hers. I stare at her, because it’s what I do, I stare at strangers in other cars, because I’m safe in my bubble while I’m in my car and because they are safe in theirs. She too is completely alone, and I begin to wonder why. She seems old enough to be married and attractive enough to have suitors. Maybe she has, but then again maybe she hasn’t. I would say “hi” but she won’t look at me and even if she did I wouldn’t say anything but turn my head and pretend I wasn’t staring at her. The visage of a stranger alone conjures up the most powerful emotions, and I begin to feel detached, like nothing matters and we’re all cars stopped at lights, and even if we speak to each other someday the light will change and we will never see each other again, and in that moment I love her, not like a boy loves a pretty girl, or a mother loves a child, but like an auto mechanic loves a thirty year old V8 engine in perfect condition, or the way an Irish grandmother loves a stone house built on the edge of a landscape, or like a ten year old boy loves a castle that he has all to himself. Is it possible to love a stranger with such depth and they not even know it? Still she stares ahead. I love her but hate myself, loath my emotions, and still she drives on, and my heart breaks, and I am once again, completely alone.

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2 comments

  1. This is actually one of my favorite things you’ve ever written. It’s like peeking at a moment, and seeing for what it really is. It’s sad and beautiful.

    I’m also loving the new blog design.

    Shiny.

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