Wednesday, August 26, 2009

You're the Chocolate at the End of My Cornetto

One of the ways I know the summer's over is I'm back to driving to work in the dark (again). That's my final clue to the seasonal changes and as I've gotten older, it bothers me more and more though I'm unsure why that is the rest of the year. I did give some thought to just coming in to work later (and, then to compensate, going home earlier) but I'm such a thorn and vexation for the people for whom I work when I actually work now that I figured elevating the annoyance and friction factor might not be the career-enhancer at this stage in my life for which I've been searching.

Coming in yesterday morning, a pick up truck driving with only parking lights on (hint: they're called parking lights for a reason. Not even in France, with their yellow headlights ("les phares jaunes") rather than white like everyone else, is it legal to drive with parking lights) blew by me on Route 12, near where the fire at the Thamesview Apartments were, as if I were standing still. Trust me on this one, and I'm treading carefully as I don't want to upset law-enforcement members, I was NOT standing still.

He roared past me in the dark (it's always a 'he', isn't it? Never a 'she.'Do guys do that because we'd find it too humiliating to imagine a woman zipping by? What about Danica Patrick? Just asking) leading me to speculate, somewhat unkindly, about his parentage and intelligence, among other things. We are, as a species, heavily determined by our behaviors and motivations. The latter drives the former, no pun intended but it gets tricky.

When all you have is the behavior, because we cannot see/know the motivation, we can come to a conclusion that is very logical based on our observations but, can be completely wrong. Thus, I occupied my thoughts for a few minutes speculating as is frequently the case, that Speed Racer, is/was a casino visitor who'd lost his way in the woods and wilds of Eastern Connecticut and was in a hurry to get to a friendly felt table where he could lose his wages even faster than he drove.

Despite all the years we've lived here and have been neighbors of both Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun, aside from an occasional shopping excursion (and bring BIG dollars and rock climbing gear as the prices are steeper than retail), or tickets to performances by people most of the rest of the world assumed were long gone (Barry, meet Billy. We're sitting shiva for '79, guys. Have a headband and pass me a lighter), I don't go to the casinos and I've never bet on anything they have on their wagering floors.

I just assumed I'd encountered another 'tourista!' as I refer to them derisively, and left it at that, until I reached the Hebrew Society Cemetery out by the Norwich Hospital Property where the flashing red and blue lights cast a disquieting pall across the roadway. And as I drew nearer, I could see a smaller car, nose down, both doors open and off the road for the most part, with a scattering of glass on the highway itself, surrounded by police, fire and rescue vehicles.

This car, in all likelihood, was an actual 'tourista' who, in this case, encountered, unluckily for both, a deer trying to cross the roadway. Not as many flashing lights as the big payout slot machine, perhaps, but bright enough to see the damage and to hope it looked worse than it was. I knew because this happens so often, this won't even make the newspaper.

And then I saw Speed Racer, parked on the side, reflective vest on, helping direct what passed for traffic by the dawn's early light. He was volunteer fireman or rescue. He wasn't speeding towards a hot slot machine but to help a fellow traveler on the Big Blue Marble. I felt so small it was a good job just seeing over the steering wheel as he waved me by. Nothing to see here, indeed.
-bill kenny

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