Routine. That’s the morning drive these days. Drive south, wait at lights, get tailed by a Honda sedan, wait far too long for a right hand turn lane to work the way it is supposed to. The do it going north. Monday through Friday. Some Saturdays. I’m not dealing with it very well lately. Thankfully, the sun is up when I drive now and I can see other drivers. People are far from routine.
Today’s tale: What May Come
Oliver Winter. That’s the name I’ve assigned to the driver a beat up old Ford with a bed gate that won’t stay up properly. The truck smells like cigarettes, overheated and cracking plastic, gas and a funk that has no explanation, but this is Oliver’s truck. Oliver is wearing a long sleeved tee, green and there’s a graphic I can’t quite place but I think it is un-ironically a Pabst Blue Ribbon shirt. He keeps his gray hair long, and a unkempt beard covers from ear to chin to other ear. Dark, darker than dark really, sunglasses cover his eyes.
Oliver is on his way to work, like the rest of us, but behind those eyes is a pain. Oliver knows the routine as well as I do. He drives, he works, he drives again. Right now, he’s stuck in his own head.
We’re driving down the road. I’m thinking of how amazing my Pop Tart breakfast is and Oliver is thinking of what once was.
Oliver is thinking of his days with the railroad. He’s thinking of the summer spent in Aruba as a scuba instructor. He is thinking of a two term tenure as a city council member and the mill levy he helped passed. There was a brief stint as an editor of a local newspaper.
He used to be so many things. He has more years behind him than ahead of him now, he realizes this and on these drives that feel so mundane and routine he is left wondering what may have been had he stuck with one option or another.
I can’t help but feel sorry for the mindset that has consumed poor Oliver. Spending so much time thinking of what he used to be and no time thinking of what he will be.
Unknown to Oliver right now, he will be the world’s first septuagenarian to break the sound barrier in a paraglider. It will be a complete accident and the government investigation will consume the rest of his days, but he will be one speedy old dude.
Thanks for reading!
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