At The Crossroads

I get to the roundabout. It is more of a crossroads, the island only identified with paint. The cars preceding me, ignoring the circle, have turned left and gone up the hill.

There is a car, off to the side of the roundabout, stuck, trapped by the traffic. Through the rear window, a child’s face is visible. Exasperated, instinctively knowing that with a little more confidence they would be already on their way. Instinct, or is it the mutterings of the mother.

The mother with a look of desperation that grabs my attention. The grip on the steering wheel tense. Tense like the tiger waiting for the first opening of the cage door.

It is not the first time I’ve seen drivers with that look. They are not comfortable driving, they don’t like driving. I call them reluctant drivers.

They learned to drive because everybody learns to drive. And the point of learning to drive is to get a car. And the point of getting a car is to use it to go places. So when they need to go somewhere, they get in the car, hands at ten after ten, hoping the low-traffic time of day will make the trip predictable. You see them trapped in the steel cages built from expectations, gripping the steering wheel with increasing tightness every time an aggressive driver flashes their high-beams at them.

I give way.

 

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4 thoughts on “At The Crossroads”

  1. Your situation…then observe the child and then the mother…then sense her frustration and the Why…then have compassion for her (and others like her)…then response from empathy. wow! Well-written. Thank you.

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