We know you’re on the phone. You’re hunched over and when the light’s green you don’t move. When it’s clear to turn you don’t turn and when the speed limit’s thirty, you’re going fifteen. Get off your damn phone, you moron. But shaming doesn’t work. The obvious solution is simple. If you’re on your phone while driving, it’s legal to ram your car.
Oh, you weren’t on your phone? Check the phone records, officer. Hey how about that, I guess we’re done here. Everybody would become very aware of their surroundings and the problem would vanish in a morning commute.
It’s very early and very cold, and she’s pulling her leash tight around the landing to the final steps. Suddenly, she stops.
A man is lying there. A few burned out candles by his face.
He’s startled and sits up. He’s young, with a scraggly beard and weary eyes, and lights the cigarette he already has pressed in his lips.
“We used to sit here and smoke,” he says. “But now, she’s gone.”
Gone? As in, dead? Or has she left him? I can’t think of what to say.
“Can I get by? My dog has to pee.”
We’re at an intersection. Mom’s observing the world from the passenger seat. I’m thinking about how small she looks. She points, and says, “We used to go to that coffee shop every Saturday night.”
I glance over as cars start moving. “There?” It’s a place I haven’t thought of in ages. Me and my friends used to hang out there. Sip Cokes. Draw. Play D&D until they kicked us out.
“On Saturdays your father and I would go dancing, and end up there,” she said, smiling, lost in thought.
I never knew that.
My folks were way cooler than me.