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  • Waiting for a ride

January 10

Oh yeah, it’s still cold. Colder actually. All the brilliant green grasses that have come up from our excessive rain are poking their heads through an icy blanket of frost this morning. No wait for a ride, and it’s a warm Volvo sedan. Very pleasant lady driving, but once again as we get onto the freeway she starts the cell phone fumble, even gesturing with both hands! Traffic is heavy and moving fast and she needs to pay attention. I didn’t sleep well last night and my nerves are on edge so I’m hyper-nervous, clutching the arm rest and looking tense. After she finishes a second phone call, she says “Am I making you nervous?” “Oh yes”, I reply. “You really need to focus on your driving, and you can’t do it talking on a cell phone!” She politely apologizes and I do forgive her. Her daughter may go into labor today and she was trying to get through to her to let her know her schedule today. She doesn’t want to miss the call when labor begins! The back seat passenger is plugged into her headphones and ignores us.

I appreciate her sensitivity to my discomfort and we continue the ride chatting about the tragedy in Tucson, crazy talk show moderators who fan the flames of such madness, our jobs (she teaches at City College), education in general and the odd weather. “It snowed in Atlanta” she exclaims. Her sister. a recent Atlanta transplant from colder climes called her this morning surprised to see snow. The world is feeling more upside down than usual today; the warm ride and good conversation help to set it a little straighter.

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