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Saturday, January 9, 2010


i am driving steady down a thick, foggy lane. the dam appears to my left, cloaked. its lights shine like the exterior of a large compound. i wonder what sort of monster lurks behind in those depths. my car grumbles at the slow incline. the temperature gauge is moving with ghost-like stealth. i round the bend and come to a light. as i coast downhill it turns yellow-orange in the mist. i push the break, i could speed through it but something tells me i'm not meant to. i come to a heavy halt. the red thermostat light blinks on quietly. the needle is in the red. the trac off light dings on. my car shudders. the light turns green. i ease slowly into the intersection, my car resisting every inch as i push the accelerator down. "c'mon baby" i urge "let's just get this over with". i lead her onto a dimly lit side street that leads into a neighborhood. to my left is a sound wall to my right an expanse of newly excavated earth. in a short distance i see the faint glow of house lights. i maneuver to the curb and turn off the car. its so cold. and so silent. i turn my emergency blinkers on. the steady tick resonates in the quiet. i grow eager and annoyed. the minutes go by. one by one. like a march. a very slow, deliberate march on my nerves. i see the violet neon blue of halogen headlights illuminating the bend. the car spots me and slows. its a truck - nondescript, lowered. it slows as it nears me. i see the outline of a figure in the driver's seat. as he comes parallel to me the window goes down, i follow suit, it's automatic. "do you need help?" a lightly accented voice calls to me. I read concern in his voice, though genuine i think not. "No, just overheated. Happens all the time. I just have to wait for it to cool down" it comes out rushed, not how I meant it to sound. I want to turn my emergency lights off but I'm afraid it will draw his attention. And should I need someone else to notice them later, should i get into anymore trouble... "would you like me to wait with you?" more genuine this time. his voice reverberates off the quiet, like a an echoing reminder of the fact that i'm alone out here. what am i thinking? i'm not alone, there are houses less than a mile away. Why did i stop at that light? i could have made it through before it ever even thought red. "no really, it's ok. I'll just be on my way now" I'll just be on my way now? What, was he some sort of gatekeeper, did i cross his turf unwelcome? he could be a nice helpful guy. Could be. "it's really no problem" He starts to pull his car toward the opposite curb. "No no, i think it's cooled off now. Thanks" i roll up the window. his truck is at the curb. he's idling. I flick off my emergencies at the same time the engine growls to life. The gauge is down in the white again. i make sure the doors are locked as i pull away.


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