Not Today

There is something magical about summer. New light shimmers on fresh dew as the birds wake with the rising sun. Already at 7:30 am the light is filtered through the trees casting little diamonds on my driveway as I toss my purse in my car. There’s some kind of magic in the air. So much so that it’s almost tangible on my skin.

“Today is going to be a good day”, I think to myself as I sip on my smoothie of the day and buckle in. My my head hits the roof of the car and I sigh.

“This is why we can’t have good hair days”. I put the car in reverse and the small indent where the pavement of the road meets my drive rocks the car, sending my hula dancer into a rhythm and rubbing my head into the fabric of the roof more and generating even more static, but it’s not going to ruin my day as I remind myself what’s ahead of the drive. I continue pulling out of the driveway and onto my street, running my hand over my face to brush away any remains of sleep. As I open my eyes and switch to drive I glance at that decrepit old house on the corner. It reminds me of a gingerbread house that was left inside an ant hill. A rather bulbous skunk snakes its way along its splintering walls and disappears into a crevice that I would have never guessed it would fit into had I not seen it with my own eyes. As I pass the house, its stench burns my nose and I switch my febreeze car freshener to full blast on my air-vents. Not today, skunk.

Not today.

I can feel my self getting more and more excited and the tiny dancer seems to feel it too as she pivots and sways on her station. “Almost there”. I say as I pass one stop sign. Two. Three. Then, I see it. That final octagon of warning as before the source of my madness. I take a deep breath as I come to a stop. No other cars. Could it be? It is! I pull out and begin my journey at 55 mph. No school zones! Heck yea! I drum along to the music on my steering wheel in excitement as I pass the police officer. Not today, sir.

It’s around this time that I’m smiling like an idiot and drumming like I’m trying to summon the Road Gods that I realize that the most joy I have felt in three weeks is because of a lack of school zones. Forget that I’m still excited and I take a swing out of my smoothie, tipping it just far enough for half of it to come pouring onto my face and dress.

“NO! NO! NOT TODAY!”

I frantically begins searching for napkins but to no avail. I have just 10 minutes until I get to work and convince myself to calm down and take deep breaths. A lime-green Prius pulls up to my right and I feel something looking at me. I glance over and there is a small child pressed against the back window. Mouth agape and slobbering against the glass, eyes locked with mine. I try to avoid looking at him but I keep feeling his lopsided gaze. We hit a stop light at the same time and now I’m trapped. I look over. You can see the entire interior of his nostrils and mouth from my seat. He looks like his oozing ropes of snot and slobber. Like fat worms coating the glass in slime. At the same time he continues to lick it up with his tongue in a helicopter tongue movement. It turns green and I try to go a bit faster to lose sight of him but the car keeps my space. I place him at around age six. By this point, all hope of finishing my banana smoothie is gone and he sucks at the glass and smacks his lips. It reminds me of those odd black fish you see at the pet store. Just eating algae and waste off the walls.

Finally, I turn right and the lime-green Prius continues straight. Almost as soon as I switch lanes, an older gentleman with neck-tattoos pulls up beside me in a rusted caddy with chrome rims that have spears sticking out of their centers like some sort of Mario Kart villain. He looks over and puts his sunglasses on slowly as a cheshire grin spreads across his face, grinding an unlit cigarette in between his teeth. He motions for me to roll my window down but I just grimace a smile and a half-hearted wave.

“No, sir, I’m okay. Thank you, but no thank you”, I mumble to myself between clenched teeth.

The car in front turns and I move up one spot and lose sight of Wario. Then I feel it again. Something looking at me. I turn and sure enough there he is. Sitting in the back seat of that lime-green Prius, blowing bubbles into his own fluids. Face encrusted with what was once cheerios. I slowly pull my eyes back onto the road and stomp on the gas as the light switches to green.

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