Slow Ride

For just a few minutes I was alone in my car, which is one of the few places I ever get to be alone. Maybe I should’ve turned on the radio, but I didn’t. I just drove. I didn’t deviate from the path, I drove towards the gate. Towards the house. I realized I was driving rather slowly.

Slower than the limit.

Slower than the traffic.

Slower than I would normally drive.

I was thinking. Maybe I was subconsciously trying to extend that moment into something more than what it was. The end of an errand. The ten minutes I had to be alone before we were all together again. It was gloriously peaceful, regardless of the traffic.

I noticed the lightness had returned to my being, if only for a few minutes.

As I approached the gate, Gary, the youngest and most “with it” of the guards ushered me through without ceremony. I was disappointed when he didn’t extend my journey by even the amount of time it would have taken to show him my pass. He knows me now, I am accepted.

I smiled my most polite and girly smile. I thanked him in my most pleasant and high pitched voice (the one I reserve for elders, teachers or police officers) and I drove on through. I was delighted to adhere to the 19 mile-per-hour speed limit. I even gave them back four mph and drove 15.

Anything to extend the moment.

I waved at everyone on the street as I drove by, the folks walking their tiny dogs, the people puttering by on golf carts and the cigar smokers who had been relegated to their driveways by their non-cigar-smoking wives.

Inevitably, I arrived back at the house. The garage door was fixed.

They were standing there talking, and I missed him again.

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