Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Road

You can hear the soft hum of the interstate when you sit silent in our backyard. The white noise of vehicles, each with at least one person in it, each with a story to tell. Sometimes I am so overwhelmed by the number of people there are out there.

I was walking in the Target parking lot a couple days ago. A woman about my age was driving a huge SUV. She did not stop to let me cross. She was too busy on the telephone. Who was she talking to? Where was she going? Does she have children? Were they in the car? Does she have a home? A partner? Is she happy or does she cry herself to sleep at night?

What about that old man in the car in front of you going 10mph under the speed limit? Can you see his hands carefully placed at 10:00 and 2:00 as he sits a little forward towards the wheel with his shoulders slightly hunched over? Is he driving you crazy because you can't pass? What's your hurry? Where do yo think he's driven in his life? Was he in a war? Did he drive a tank? Does he have a family? Do they call him or see him often? Has he shared his stories with grandchildren?

You pass a crash. Mangled metal. Burned rubber. Rescue vehicles with lights flashing. You can see airbags deployed. You don't see any victims, they have been taken away already. Did they survive? Did their vehicle save them, protect them? Who are they? How does the crash change their lives?

Do you ever wonder about other people on the road?