Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Man in a Miata

Every other Monday, I meet C****** at the local bookstore/cafe for lunch. Way back when, C****** was my Little Sister. Now she is a grown-up, works two jobs, bought her own house & we lunch every other Monday.

& every other Monday, starting at about the garden store & the theater, but never too far past the corner of 34th with all those schools & churches (seriously, is it me or does that one corner have three schools & three churches?), I find myself driving next to the man in the Miata. It was months before I noticed him, I am sure, but once I did he was impossible to miss ever again. This stretch of road is not long. It is not even the length of a city block & yet, there he is, more often than not. Usually passing me on the right (as it happens, I probably do not belong in the left lane, but the right lane is right turn only at the light & I do not want to turn right; I am thinking he probably did turn right which is what put him to my right. Got it? Right.).

You may have gathered it is a rather congested stretch of road, what with my having so much time to observe & you would be mostly right. Also, he kind of interests me. Please understand, this is a university town. A semi-conservative, very southern, football-is-king university but there are still a lot of you-only-see-them-in-a-university-town style oddballs out there. There is the lady who rides her bicycle with the two very well behaved dogs on leashes & her bicycle basket full of doggy bowls & bottled of water but no other worldly goods that I have ever noticed. There is the patently homeless man who wears a heavy '70s style anorak all year round, zipped up, often with the hood up over what has to be 15 lb of dredlocks. There are the Jesuses, too of course. I do not mean Jesus freaks, well not in the usual sense. I mean the long haired, glassy eyed men wandering around wearing white robes & rope sandals.

Side bar about the Jesuses: has anyone else noticed they seem to have territories? There is the Butler Plaza to the Archer Road overpass Jesus & the Downtown Plaza Jesus... I am almost certain they are not the same Jesus.

The man in the Miata is not one of them. But rain or shine, well drizzle or shine anyway, summer & now winter (56 F this past Monday, brrrrr), he has the top down. & he wears a driving cap. & this brings me to what has really been troubling me: how does he keep the cap on? & more importantly, what level of commitment to this look does a person have to have to do what they have to do to keep this cap on?

The temptation to swerve into his lane & see what happens is not very strong, but it is growing. Or I could write a note, beforehand of course, tape it to rock & just drop it in the backseat when we were in traffic. It is hard to do that anonymously, though. & also, if I asked the question, how would I get an answer?

I will drive by the man in the Miata a week from next Monday, so if anyone has any ideas, let me know.

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