Monday, September 05, 2011

The light just beyond


Stop Sign

The Japanese woman stops as she should,
no cross-traffic, no pedestrians, stops and
sits. I wait. I wait. She’s waiting for the
sign to turn green, I think, so I wait, wait,
and wait some more, then sound the horn
that will change red to go with a perturbed
grimace that she catches in her rear view
mirror as she lets her foot fall and the car
lurches forward as if late for last Tuesday.

I move forward and stop and quickly go
as fast as my miffedness allows (within
posted limits of reason, of course) as I
watch her make the light just beyond the
underpass in time for me to catch the red.


I sit cycling in a quiet stew when it arrives:
What has this woman done? What chain-of-
events has she unwittingly unleashed upon
me? Am I going to now join up with my
fate already in progress? What highway
mayhem might I encounter on my way home
because this lady waited for a stop sign to turn
green for a half-minute longer than it never did?

Hyper-vigilant now, the light changes and I
merge onto the slow lane of a freeway that
is the rest of my life, looking lane to lane for
the safest route, checking my mirrors more
frequently than normal, arriving home a short
time later. But it follows me, follows me into
my studio, this morbid sense, this feeling, this
idea that latches on like a succubus pressing
the octagonal fear button over and over: What if?
What if? What if? So I sit down, put my head in
my hands, breathe in the stillness, until, from some
deep red place in my mind, a stop sign appears.

Joseph Gallo
September 4, 2011



Blogger Kyle parried...

Yes, this is what I like about a round-about, like the one on Milpas: All the signs say Yield. Maybe they should add, "But more will be revealed."

September 07, 2011 6:56 PM  
Blogger Joseph Gallo parried...

I love it, Kyle: More will be revealed.

If we but yield left, we may yet get it right.

And that Milpas roundabout is a colossal fustercluck.

September 11, 2011 9:55 AM  

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