I’m on a mini vacation this week, so there’s not a whole lot of driving going on. This little detail hampers the whole concept of People on the Highway as I am not regularly seeing the highway. I lucked out today with a much needed trip to the grocery store (the coffee is running low). There’s a unique group of people one sees driving outside a grocery store at 3:00 on a Wednesday afternoon.
Today’s tale: Unfounded Fears
There’s a red SUV trying to fit into a parking spot it will never fit in, but the driver keeps the attempt going. An older guy, he’s taking a spot near the front of the store and avoiding a long walk on this particularly toasty summer day. I can’t blame.
I’m walking from my car to the store and watching the guy’s parking process. It’s not going well. Backing up, pulling in, backing up, pulling in; I pause my walk mostly due to my own trust issues. I’m not entirely sure the driver can see me. I can him though.
The driver’s name is Ed. White hair rings his head, seat covers on the seats, and an Elk’s Club sticker on the passenger side window indicate Ed and I don’t have a ton in common, but I am fairly certain we share one similarity. We’ve both believed some crazy stuff in our time.
Ed did four years worth of science fair projects on the dangers of quicksand when he was in high school. He watched the moonlanding as a child and held his breath when Armstrong first step on the moon’s surface. His heart raced a bit when he saw Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. He didn’t laugh when his grandkids showed him that giraffe and the stages of grief video on YouTube. Quicksand was a very scary thing for him long ago. Thanks to education and new fears like reverse mortgage scams, he’s pretty much over any actual fear of the very rare event, but part of him always thinks, “what if?”
So while I’m sitting here thinking, “what if the breaks fail and the car rolls into reverse for no apparent reason?” He’s in the air conditioned cab of his SUV that looks like every other SUV in its class and thinking, “what if the parking lot suddenly becomes quicksand?”
Basically the same thought. Ed and I are essentially the same person. I only wish that Ed felt a little more urgency in his parking.
Thanks for reading!