All morning long I have had that “Just Can’t Wait to Be King” song from the Lion King stuck in my head. I don’t remember the music of it though, so I have been humming the tune to the beat of “Push It” by Salt-N-Pepa. Maybe I am just remembering the cliff scene and Mufasa’s untimely end; for Scar did….push it. Pushed it real good. Or maybe it’s a 90s sort of morning. I just don’t know.
It is hard to focus when the song in your head is a mash-up most bizarre. I’ve been building a Spotify playlist of songs to write to in hope of finding a single coherent ear worm (gross phrasing, but apparently that’s the name of the ‘song in your head’ thing). It is coming along swimmingly, but I’m still focused on Just Can’t Wait to Push It. I have regrets about this intro.
Today’s tale is one of focus and why it is important. It involves road work, a distracted driver and a total lack of surprise.
Our story it called: Merge
I am riding shotgun today, half awake and barely aware of what is going on. My wife is driving us back from dropping off the kiddos at day care. There were hugs from the oldest and shouts from the baby, but in the end both will have wonderful days. She is taking us down good ol’ 20th avenue east bound. Gorgeous trees line the road sides, houses built in the late 80s are kept behind tall brick walls, there are gas stations at every intersection; it is a fairly typical old road.
It is also in dire need of some work following the flooding and other water damage from earlier in the summer. My wife brings us to what makes for a major intersection in our town and we stop for the red light.
Then we see it. Road work. Two lanes to one in just one hundred feet. She knew the closure was coming and put our car in the lane that will not cease to be. Ahead of us is a nondescript red sedan. In the lane that will be made of cones soon, the head of the pack is a yellow taxi. Beside us is a dark gray Honda SUV, because all Honda SUVs come in some gray variant. One of these cars, at least, was going to be nothing but trouble.
The light turned green and the pack lurched through the crossroad. The red sedan trudged along, the taxi turned into the shopping center at our right. I watched the driver of the Honda finally realize her lane was going to close and she put the pedal to the metal to race in front of the sedan.
I am not sure why the automatic instinct with lane closures is to speed to the front of the pack. There was no body behind us, the Honda could have slowed and merged safely. But the preferred route was to race toward a cone zone and merge without a blinker. There was no surprise that the Honda took this route, but sometimes dumb decisions make my heart hurt. Sad face emoji. Sad face emoji.
This driver is quite accustomed to this sort of maneuver. I had to know what was distracting her in the moments prior to the merging.
The night prior, our driver, a mid-thirties college student with a twelve year old son at home, parked her car in front of house. It was a nice day, no rain in the forecast, so the car windows were left just slightly down. She went inside, hugged the family and went to study for the test she is taking this morning.
There is never a good time of year to crack your windows overnight in Colorado.
She was so distracted on her drive, enough to miss giant orange cones and a blinking sign, because her entire drive has been a battle against Mothra itself.
She’s swatting wildly through the air as the behe-Moth (I will laugh for days at this) flies through the cabin trying to figure out why there is so much turbulence. Moths take no notice of we mere humans; only overhead lighting.
She will spend the rest of the day thinking the little bugger is crawling through her hair. Good luck taking a test now.
Thanks for reading!