Week End, Week Begin


Friday, December 10
The last ride of the week is a small Toyota sedan. The driver is a 50s something fellow, wearing a khaki baseball cap. A red rabbits-foot dangles from his keychain. The fog is intensely thick with so much moisture in the air it feels like a soft rain. The car is very warm and I’m comfy in the back seat. The driver didn’t say good morning to me or to the lady who comes along and gets in the front seat. Nor did he acknowledge the toll we passed to him. Now I remember this driver. He’s like a robot. But he’s a careful driver and the car is warm, so I can’t complain. KOIT radio is loud in my ear from the rear speaker – all Christmas music. Traffic is heavy and sluggish today, not at all a Friday light commute. I gaze out the window at my fellow commuters, all of us grimly on our way to work on this wet, gray morning. The burden of the holidays presses down on us. BofA has resumed its foreclosures, after a brief hiatus to justify their questionnable procedures. Washington is caving in to the tax extension. And “Jingle Bell Rock” is loud in the car.

Monday, December 13
I’m tired after a full week end of Christmas chores (outside lights, tree purchased, cards written) plus the usual weekend duties. I’m riding in a vintage Volvo sedan – all leather seats, badly cracked, but still stylish. A friendly mellow guy with an Eastern European accent is driving, drinking his Starbuck’s coffee from a styrofoam cup. Another damp, chilly day. The weather people tell us that it’s in the high 80s in L.A. – a mere 500 miles down the road. We are once again serenaded to KOIT radio’s non-stop Christmas music. This morning features several versions of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”. I’m drifting along to the music in this warm car and am suddenly startled to see a big white truck on the other side of the freeway, stopped at an angle, blocking traffic. The retaining wall doesn’t allow a complete view, but from all the emergency vehicles it looks like some sort of unhappiness. It’s affecting traffic on our side of the freeway, too, as everyone slows down for a look. We pick up speed after a few minutes and breeze on across the bridge, passing a lone egret in the bay shallows, and on into the city, which is in a soft-focus fog cover.

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