So my hand smeared my rage into the steering wheel, and honked one time two times three times four,
at a silly driver I was passing on my left. It was raining as I left Dulles, and kept raining as I drove on 695. The
rain hadn't raised its voice above a drizzle, a drizzle that left all roads moist. It'd been ten days since my eyes
saw Penny and Marcus. The drizzle would delay the reunion. So my hand smeared my rage into the steering
wheel and honked as I passed a not-so-silly driver on her right.
Ahead two trucks trucked along, one truck to my left and one truck to my right. One truck a
supermarket supply truck, one truck a moving truck. Both trucks barely trucked, stuck in a stop and start trance.
The misted drizzle mingled with the stop and start motion of the trucks' break lights, my teeth stopped and
started against themselves. I passed between the two trucks, wary of smashing into either one of them, and
honked one time two times three times four as I passed them.
Repression everywhere. The cars rolled at a repressed rate, the trucks rolled at a repressed rate, and the
minivans rolled at a repressed rate. The silly SUVs rolled at a repressed rate. Back in a more repressed era, a
driver, almost always male, could receive discreet relief from a passenger's face or fingers, almost always
female, pressing against his lap, to use repressed phrasing. Back in a more repressed era, the only high-riders
were truckers, almost always male, and truckers spying any pressing in passing cars would press their horns in
approval. In our less repressed era, high riders include families riding in silly SUVs. In our less repressed era,
a driver, perhaps male, can't receive discreet relief from a passenger's face or fingers, perhaps female, pressing
against his or her lap, lest a high-riding family riding by in an SUV spies the pressing and presses 911 to call the
cops. Silly SUVs.
A lone motorbike darted past the repression.
A chopper circled overhead, circling to the drizzle's beat. My mind's eye saw the chopper circling
down onto 695 to round up broken crash survivors. My mind's eye saw drivers beating their steering wheels in
time to frustration's beat. My neck strained, and my eyes saw POLICE stenciled across the chopper's body. A
copper chopper. So I wouldn't beat the traffic, but one day I would come home. Then again, the copper
chopper was circling to my neighborhood, and market forces had beaten down the value of our home enough
without a breaking and entering further beating it down. What wouldn't beat down our home's value, though,
was a broken home. Perhaps the copper chopper was circling down on a domestic incident, a man beating his
wife, or, beating the odds, a woman beating her husband. Domestic incidents, unlike other violent crimes,
didn't beat down home values. That thought served its talisman's purpose; the copper chopper circled away
from our neighborhood.
My plane was supposed to land in BWI, but the rain blew it to Dulles. Sitting next to me on the plane
was Carly, whom I met on the plane. When we landed in Dulles, she wanted to drink drinks, loudly sing in a
bar, and then not so loudly sing, to use repressed phrasing, in a motel room. Back in a more repressed era when
I was unmarried, it would've been far from silly for my feet to follow Carly. But Penny always listened to my
silly ramblings about my far-from-silly office exploits with a not- so-silly indulgence and it would've been silly
to throw away our far-from-silly marriage over a silly time with a stranger whom I met by silly chance. So my
mind made the not-so-silly decision to quickly rent a car and drive home to help Penny entertain some silly
There've been few times in my life when I've cried. I cried when Marcus popped himself into the
world. When Marcus popped himself out, everything was new again, new again for a good six weeks. It'd
been a good ten days since my eyes saw Marcus, ten days since my ears heard Marcus laugh his baby laugh, a
laugh fully from his full belly, a laugh that made me cry a little because time would make that laugh less and
less full as time passed. I tried passing cars on my left. I tried passing cars on my right. But I couldn't pass.
So my hand smeared my rage into the steering wheel, and honked, honked one time two times three times four.
The traffic loosened up slightly for a wobbly car, wobbling to the left, wobbling to the right. The driver
drove slower than the slowly moving traffic. A drunk. The drunk drove forgetfully, unlike the most gifted
drunks, and nearly dinked a car. No doubt the drunk forgetfully drank many drinks at some bar. One forgetful
flick, and the drunk would wobble into a car, which would wobble into another, which would bar me from
coming home. So my hand smeared my rage into the steering wheel one time two times three times four as I
passed the drunk on his right.
The rain raised its voice above a drizzle, repressing the traffic's roll further. A silly sight of a crash site
soon struck me. Standing on the shoulder stood a woman staring at her cell phone as the cell phone screamed
silly stuff at the staring woman as she stood next to her standing minivan. Standing several yards from her a
stooping woman stuffed windshield slivers into her purse. My neck strained, my eyes wanted to eye the silly
sight, but my conscience wouldn't stand for standing and reminded my foot that for thirteen years I went
nowhere without Penny, but it'd been ten days since my eyes last saw her. So my foot pressed the gas and I
passed the sight on the site's left to roll past the rest of the site.
As the sky darkened my car then approached a crashed minivan with darkened windows standing on the
shoulder. The bumper announced the driver as the proud parent of an honor student. I vowed that if his
school's honor roll honored his grades, I wouldn't darken Marcus' humor by darkening our rear bumper with a
bumper sticker announcing his honor. I remembered that it'd been ten days since my eyes last saw Marcus. I
remembered that darkened windows were the darkest creation in the dark history of our species. My humor
darkened. My foot pressed the brake, and the car slowed as it approached the minivan, indifferent to whether it
would further repress traffic. The driver was strapped in a stretcher, being rolled into an ambulance. My hand
smeared my rage into the steering wheel and honked one time two times three times four as I passed the driver.
"Learn to drive, asshole," my mouth mouthed at the driver as she rolled into the ambulance as my hand honored
her with its middle finger.
After passing the crash site, traffic cleared itself. The sky cleared itself. My conscience cleared itself.
Let the Furies crash your calm until the end of your days, it said to me. Let Penny's silly circle of friends crash
at your place until the end of your days, it said to me as vultures circled over drying roadkill. You will finally