Thursday, October 10, 2013

Driver's Helper

Lulling and sweet, the rhythms of the rush hour commute comfortably eased the day's tensions. Waking from the drive time dream I motion for the horn, as a compact swerves to merge in front of me. Just as my palm is about to connect with the wheel I notice it; a tiny beast is lurking just behind the center of my steering wheel.

"There's nothing on my wheel," I tell myself, hoping to believe it.

Forgetting the stream of cars weaving on the road, I close my eyes for a second in an attempt to will the creature away. The plaintiff honk from behind me forces me to face reality, as the mysteriously emboldened creature slowly crawls out of it's hiding place.

Sun shines off it's hairy body, but all I see are its' overdeveloped fangs that hid it's mouth.  It stands on my steering wheel surveying the situation, as I try to weigh my own options.  At any moment, that thing could lunge for my hand, deploying it's venom into my soft flesh. My only hope is to keep it at bay for three more lights, without getting bitten or causing a car wreck.

 At the first light, it glares at me and shifts it's weight on powerful hind legs. Breath fails me when it stops staring at my hand, and instead turns to look me dead on. The only hint of humanity I find in its' glassy black eyes are my own reflection.

Carefully managing the car, I frequently glance at it as I continue on. It senses my fear. Every bead of sweat that falls from my brow is carefully weighed and measured by it's ancient gaze.

What does it want? Alone in starlight I have frequently wondered why humans didn't have a predator. We are so defenseless. It would be so easy to target us. It was at those moments when I contemplated if there was a species out there designed to feast on us. I had always brushed off such notions, but staring into those endless fangs I knew this thing had come for me.

Reaching the third light provides a measure of comfort. As if understanding the elevation of my mood it begins to posture again. Waiting like the sphinx, it almost seem to lose interest for a time.

 When I turn the wheel to seek the safety of my parking lot it readies a pounce, not wishing to waste its' last opportunity. In anticipation, I move my hand just before it strikes. Confused, it crawls anxiously exploring where my hand had been. Angered it stared at be before charging where my other hand was.

 Narrowly missing my downstairs neighbor's car, I managed a desperate parking job. I withdrew from the steering wheel just as it lept at my other hand. I fumbled for the door. Spilling out of the car was better than facing it directly. I closed the door and watched it jump from the steering wheel to the window.

Almost expecting it to find a way through the glass I stood frozen. It was only once I was satisfied it was detained in the car that I was able to go inside and relax. Reflecting on the encounter, if it had found a way into my car it could find a way out. Would if escape and pursue me or would it wait in there and attack again when next I used the car.

Maybe I'll call in to work tomorrow.

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