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  • Waiting for a ride

March 11 Thursday Out of Sync


Vallejo 6:45 AM
Hurrying, running late, forgetting cell phone and lunch, going back home to retrieve and finally at the carpool line. Phew. No cars at all, and then one pulls up. I get in. Because I was not paying attention, I screwed up and have climbed into the CLASSIC BAD RIDE. This is a small red Honda roadster, low to the ground (I had to climb down to get into the car).

I get tucked in, fasten seat belt and we take off, pulling at least 10 Gs. Or so it seems. The air conditioning is ON, although it is 45 degrees outside. The vent is aimed at my face and I push it aside, providing some relief. As I do that I notice there is no passenger air bag. Wonderful. A small mirror ball is swinging wildly from the rear-view mirror, spewing prismatic reflections about the tiny car. It adds to the craziness of this nightmare ride.

The driver is a Mexican-American in his 50s and I can tell by the way he works the gears (manual transmission) that this is a car that likes to go fast. He’s wearing a blue tooth gizmo in his ear. The car trembles and strains to go faster with each gear shift. Where is the traffic this morning to slow this bastard down? The freeway is wide open and this guy is loving every 85 mph minute of it. He pulls out of the carpool lane whenever he comes up behind a car, accelerating and passing, then cutting back in.

Would this be the time, do you think, that I should tell this driver, who smells too strongly of Dial deodorant soap, to slow down, and risk a confrontational situation with him as we go 80+ mph? I think not, and feel like crying.

Traffic is getting a bit heavier thank you god as we near Berkeley. I promise myself I will not do this again if I have to stand in the line for an hour! Ah here’s Berkeley and traffic is mercifully crawling along. The horrible car groans and strains through the down shifting gears. The driver is not happy. Neither is his passenger.

When we reach the drop off at Fremont Street at 7:30, I climb out of the car as quickly as I can and say nothing. It is a pleasure to see him drive away.

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