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Vignette: Afternoon Commute


            For once I’m running perfectly on time. There’s no traffic so far, getting onto the highway was a breeze, and I’m totally on my way to an early arrival at work. Win.

            I pull up to the stoplight at Highway 1 and 92 when she comes barreling down behind me. I brace for impact, certain she’s going to rear-end me. Her hands are tensely at 11 and 1 on the steering wheel, like she’s afraid to even be driving, and she’s got a scowl on her face.

            The light turns green, and I drive in a non-insane manner to the next light: Main Street and 92. Again, she speeds like a bat out of hell into her stop behind me, and again, I brace for impact. This light is longer, and I find myself studying her in my rearview mirror.

            I name her, “Jesus Lady,” because she has crosses dangling from her ears. They’re garish, clearly the kind of costume jewelry that would turn your skin green eventually, and too large to even make suitable pendants. She’s got another cross on the middle finger of her right hand, and I only notice it when she begins to ferociously dig into her right nostril with that particular finger.

            They say everything happens for a reason. With this in mind, I will tell you now that I’m near-sighted. It’s not all that bad, but things definitely blur at about 10 ft. away. It is but for the grace of the divine that I do not see in finite detail what it is on her finger before she inserts it in her mouth. Still, I shudder and gag simultaneously.

            The phone rings: it’s Bear.

            “Dear God, you’ll never guess what I’m witnessing RIGHT NOW!” I exclaim.

            “Um…a crazed woman eating her own snot?”

            “Wait, where are you right now?”

            “Work. You?”

            “I’m in my car…watching a crazy woman pick her nose and eat it.”

            “You’re lying.”

            “Nah. Whatchu want, anyway?”

            “You know what? I’ve forgotten already, and now I can’t get the image of some random chick digging for gold up her nose and eating the treasure. Never mind whatever it was. Call me when you get to work,” he replies in disgust and hangs up.

            The light turns green, and I suddenly wish I’d remembered to re-fill my windshield wiper fluid. I’ve got about a gallon of the stuff in the trunk, too, and yet the car’s still devoid of the sweet, sweet spray.

            Jesus Lady fakes plowing into my ass, and my hand instinctively goes for the spray mechanism. I’m totally out, she won’t get soaked for her offense, and I curse loudly.

            She seems to hear.

            I smile evilly.

            She tailgates me for the next 5 miles, her crosses glinting menacingly in the afternoon sunlight. She continues to scowl at me, or maybe just in general, and I decide this is probably because she didn’t find the gold she was expecting to be hidden in her right nostril.

…and then I gag again.

Categories: Fiction
  1. September 8, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    Did that conversation with the Bear really happen? ’cause if it did, I’m pretty sure you guys are scarily psychically linked or something. Weird!

    • September 8, 2011 at 11:23 pm

      Well, you know, it’s labeled as fiction, so no, not so much. He didn’t call, and Jesus Lady probably wasn’t furiously digging for precious metals up her nose, but she was still scary and intense.

  2. Wesley
    September 9, 2011 at 12:00 am


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