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  • Waiting for a ride

Friday, February 26 What A Ride


Vallejo 7:30 a.m.
It’s Friday light and I’m rolling down the freeway in the back seat of an Isuzu Trooper (SUV). Very good jazz tape is playing. Our driver with a diamond stud in his right ear, has on his Friday light sweats. The front seat passenger is dressed up a bit more in casual khakis and pullover sweater. We are moving! 70 mph in the carpool lane.

No-nonsense car interior with the only ornamentation a pine tree cutout air freshener emitting excessive fragrance. The driver has a large unopened bottle of Dasan water close at hand in the well between the front seats.

20 minutes later we approach the Bridge Toll area and whiz by in the carpool lane. The Toll plaza is a mess with 12 lanes backed up like a parking lot waiting to get through the toll gate. The 6 Fast Track lanes are moving slightly faster.

We arrive at the drop off corner in the city 40 minutes out of Vallejo. Whee! A great ride and the weekend starts in about 8 hours.

Thursday, February 24 The view out the window


Vallejo 7:20 am
I again make the choice to pass up the first car in line. A generally unkempt looking and damaged older Chevrolet small sedan. Good choice – my ride is terrific. A 4-door Dodge Charger. Warm. Roomy. I’m in the back seat. KBLK Radio. Huge sort of ‘Lurch-from-the Adams-Family’ looking guy is driving. His enormous hands engulf the steering wheel. He did not respond to my good morning greeting, which sort of adds to the ‘Lurch’ persona. He has his seat pushed back so far in order to accommodate his leg length that it is nearly touching the rear seat. And his legs are still bent and crowded under the dash. This guy must be at least 7 feet tall.

Mirror chochkees are minimal – there’s a wild cherry scented cardboard tree shaped air freshener and a parking permit.

The Asian lady in the front passenger seat has long dark hair pulled back into a pony tail coiled down her back. We are all silent today and it’s a good day to look out the window.

Wave after wave of cars roll along the 6 lanes on Highway 80 on this almost sunny morning. Remaining wisps of fog are fading away as we move closer to the city, and I see clearly how lush the land has become from the recent days of rain and sun and then more rain. Lots of new growth on trees and shrubs and all the wild grasses that grow along the freeway.

Small birds are lined up along the power lines as we pass Berkeley. Maybe drying out from the rain, or just basking in the early morning sun. Or resting as they migrate. It’s 8 AM as we overpass the corner to the Bay Bridge approach and I see that my egret has returned to contemplate the marshy pools of water.

We’re over the bridge and in the city by 8:10.