Running late, like usual, I punch the gas and feel the car lurch forward and kick through the gears. It will make little difference; I look at the clock and am already late. Later than late, by my quick calculation.
Earlier in the year, I set the clock ahead five minutes to trick myself into hurrying. Unfortunately, I out-tricked myself because I am always late and the ploy immediately lost its power. I will reset the clock when Day Light’s Savings goes away or comes back, depending on how long I wait.
It’s a non-stop fight against the clock that starts as soon as I hit the snooze button and lasts until the end of the day when I try to negotiate a deal with the alarm for the next morning. I read books and blogs about time management and constantly employ new strategies to stretch time, but like a gambler, any minute I make has already been spent and must be used to repay old debts.
I blow through a yellow light and race around an old Honda. An ancient woman is at the helm, barely able to see over the steering wheel. She may be driving by memory because it seems that she is unable to see through the dark sunglasses that cover most of her face.
Ahead a line of cars forms in front of a red light. I slow down, not interested in starting a chain reaction of cars, each separated only by a few inches and good bit of luck.
Pow, pow, pow, I can hear the smashing in my mind.
Then the faint sound singing drifts into my car. The windows are up and volume of the radio is low. Yet, there it is. A man’s rich voice floats through the morning air and fills my otherwise empty vehicle. The source is not far behind, a man walks up the street, half wrapped in a grungy blanket, wearing a ripped t-shirt and boxers. He only carries a strange tune and nothing else in his hands. The blanket unwraps and drags along the sidewalk behind the man.
He leads with his open mouth singing “Hallelujah” and passes the line of cars without noticing those watching him with a confused sense of admiration and shock, concern and wonder.
At the green, I gun it again.
I look in my rearview window with a sudden regret and desire to do something. The man continues on his path, pulled jerkily onward by an invisible string. I briefly consider calling for emergency help before deciding to do nothing and return to my fight against time to leave the man alone in his.