When I drive along a street and there
is a speed monitor on the side of the
road, I take pride that I am a couple
of miles below the speed limit even
as my speedometer records the limit.
It’s off a little to my benefit.
Cars slow around me only to speed
back up again when past the monitor.
They go faster and faster as they
speed on down the road to God knows
where: late for work? late for a date?
late to pick up the kids from school?
(I know that one.) That must be where
the driver of the soccer mom van is
headed. Vans can go really fast in
spite of how they look. Maybe they
are late for an interview in Gehenna.
Someone told me that drivers in Chicago
are angry drivers, mean even. I’ve seen
that around here in this upper mid-west
town. More and more, angrier and angrier,
middle fingers flashing, faces grimacing,
mouths uttering silent slurs and epithets .
Are the roads Rorschach tests of our
society’s level of anxiety? Up ahead is
another speed monitor. I smile when I see
two miles under the speed limit. A white-
haired senior citizen flips me the bird
as she speeds past.