I was going to take the winter off from writing “People on the Highway” tales. Following the release of Book 2 in the series *cough* available by clicking here, lots of reading for just a $1 *cough* I was a little worried winter stories would just be about ice skaters feeling right at home spinning through intersections. Not entirely off base, but winter driving is just the worst. Summer driving takes out the fear of black ice or sudden snow drifts and make for fun stories *cough* like those featured in Volume 1, also available for $1 *cough*
But winter has been a bit different around here. Even with a fresh foot of snow on the ground this week, driving has been fairly pleasant. It helps tremendously that my town’s leadership realized that citizens are totally fine with spending extra tax dollars on snow plows. With driving being not-as-terrible-as-it-could-be (TM), I saw a story that needed to be written down.
Today’s tale: The Fuzz
The roads are flanked with four foot high snow mounds that will likely melt before the week is out. Drivers are cautious, but the roads clear and basically dry something we are all unaccustomed to following a big storm. Sedans are going 40 down the highway, vans hitting 50, trucks moving at 75 still because rules don’t apply to big trucks around these parts. Traffic is fairly standard. Few violations can be seen outside of the occasional missed turn signal and line crossing. It is a quiet morning and civilian drivers seem to have their act together.
That is how the driver in the enormous white pick-up truck sees the world. He spent 25 years in a patrol car, moving up and down the highway like a sheep dog keeping a herd in order. His eyes were trained for keeping order and safety a priority for all those around him. Rules mattered to him and he wanted them to matter to everyone. His training never really left him. He’s sitting in the cab of his Goliath truck right with his eyes panning every lane of traffic.
We are sitting at a red light waiting to make a left hand turn and I look back and see him catch his own reflection in the rear view mirror of this, and I cannot stress this enough, ridiculously large vehicle. His brow furrows and he grimaces wondering where his youth has fled, what happened to the body he once knew. The moment ends as a firetruck, lights off and sirens silenced, rolls through the intersection. Part of him longs for the days before retirement. Perhaps he just wants flashy lights on top of car once more. Though if he wanted it to happen, traffic would let this beast of an automobile through without question.
The light changes and we are allowed to make our turn. I take my spot in the right lane and to my surprise the truck follows behind me. We are moving slowly down the road as I try not to destroy my car’s decade old clutch. Left lane traffic is non existent and all that is ahead of us is open road and a bright sun just over the horizon.
A mile later the retired cop with the all-too-big truck remembers his current title. He remembers that he spent his time enforcing rules and being a model for his community. He loved rules when he had to enforce them. Right now though, being stuck behind a Honda Element moving at the speed limit was tiresome and he realizes that he no longer has to be a model for obeying the rules. He wants to drive fast.
His turn signal flashes twice and before I know it I am staring at the largest bumper I have ever seen. Drive fast, you mustachioed cop. You’ve earned it.
Thanks for reading!