Lately I’ve spent some time noticing vehicles on the road. Man, they are large. Yesterday on our way to Olympia an Acura SUV thing idled behind me, the driver quick to hop on my ass as we traveled from stoplight to stoplight in the motorists’ tedium that is downtown Aberdeen. In my rearview mirror I saw a man alone in the cab with his left shoulder up, draping his hand over the wheel of his Amazing Driving Machine and the other alternately on the phone or down out of sight, texting or fondling his balls or whatever. In front of me a Silverado rumbled as it spread it’s huge asscheeks all over the road, easily larger than the Acura and laughing back at my seemingly miniature Mazda “light” pickup. And today on the road I saw some kind of Mazda – it looked like a car, but way bigger, or close up with a tiny person inside. This person sat well above the cab of my truck. These cars are huge but don’t seem to boast a lot of room inside – they mostly just boast being big. I find myself wondering why we have so many gleaming, gigantic vehicles out and about, especially in an area that is said to be “economically depressed”? I guess I will start concerning myself with people whinging about gas prices when I see just a few fewer bewheamoths out on the road.
This morning on the bike I found a good route to get to Nels’ school; ducking out of highway traffic and staying on a relatively quiet side-street for much of the ride. The route was nice; the bike ride not so much. It was clear but cold, with a head wind persistent enough that on mile two my legs stopped complaining and just did their drudgery dispiritedly, like listless indentured whores. Nels sat back in the trailer amidst winter coat, wicker basket full of juice and snacks, and a big quilt my mom sewed him several Christmases ago. He wasn’t complaining.
It was quiet out and comforting enough. At the end of Cherry I hit a small snag and had to backtrack half a block for an alley. Finding my way back to a road I heard my son from the trailer: “You can do it, Mama. You can find my school!” I felt oddly heartened and touched by his cheerleading. An hour later when he was chosen in his classroom to describe today’s weather, he put the weather dials to “windy” and “cold”. I thought he was in a special position to know, having braved the elements with me.
On the way home he fell asleep; I aborted my shopping plan (only after I’d already parked, chained the bike, and removed my helmet to discover him in Slumberland, Population One) and headed home where I brought in his artwork, dirty laundry from the school, leftover juice bottles, and one sleeping boy to strip down and tuck in for the remainder of his snooze.
Sometimes – not when I lose my temper or get distracted doing my work – but sometimes, I wish I was my own mom, and I was a little kid who got to be taken care of by her.