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  • Waiting for a ride

February Sunny Groundhog Days


WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 2. GROUND HOG DAY. A huge line of cars all the way around the block. I’m the only rider, at least for the moment. I get into the back seat of a lovely, luxurious Cadillac. A very stylish lady is at the wheel in a wonderful black & white checkered pant suit. She’s model thin. A great hair cut and perfect manicure. I want this car and that haircut! The car reminds me of the Chryslers my parents always used to have – big, leathery, roomy. This one has a sunroof, and a super large gps screen. It’s a beautiful sunny morning and there will be more of the same today and for the rest of the week. Almost impossible to imagine the howling snowstorms going on in the east. But the bright sunny light on Groundhog Day means Mr. Groundhog has seen his shadow and we’ll have 6 more weeks of winter. Mmm. We roll past Berkeley and the view of the city in brilliant light and shadow is reminiscent of an Edward Hopper painting.

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 3. Frost on the windshields this morning but sunny. Once again I’m the only rider in line, but the street is empty and not a car to be seen. Within about 5 minutes they start pulling up and then a few more riders come along. My ride is in the back seat of a sporty Nissan. The driver barely acknowledges us but is eager to take our $1.25 toll. There’s a book on the back seat, “Discipline of Godly Man”. KGO radio is on REAL LOUD. The driver listens intently, concentrating on the traffic. A contrast to his nearly horizontally reclining seat.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 4. Today’s driver looks familiar. But he drives like a maniac, and you’d think I’d remember that before I got in this killer car. Too late now. It’s Friday light so he has more room to drive like a lunatic. Lane changing and going too fast. I’d guess him to be a mid-level management guy. Business suit, crisp blue-striped dress shirt (even on Friday!), short hair and fingernails that look chewed. The car is a small, new Honda. Once the traffic gets heavier near Berkeley he is forced to slow down and we all relax.

He takes 3 of us and accepts the $1.25 without a murmur ($3.75 collected for a $2.50 toll). Ah, but it’s a gorgeous morning and the promise of an even more gorgeous weekend. I saw the first pink blossoms on the flowering quince and plum trees today. I think the Groundhog might be wrong.

Happy weekend.