The late model Chevy in front of me had been flashing left left left for the past fourteen miles. Traffic wasn't bad, just full, as we were all driving home from a long day at work. Or at least, I was driving home from a long day at work. Thinking the best of my fellow drivers, I assumed they had been working hard all day, too. But I knew that some had been at work, that some had been at school, that come may have been engaged in criminal activities, that others were probably hiding from their pasts. But on this stretch of interstate we were all at least heading in the same direction. And I just happened to be behind Mr. Old Geezer in the rusty green Chevy trying to make a perpetual left into the median.
Left left left. It was a rapid blink, which I had learned over the years meant that his front blinker was out. The electrical circuit ran fast because this was the only light on the grid as far as it was concerned. Probably didn't make a sound inside, either blown out there, too, or his 89-year-old ears weren't able to pick it out of the surrounding highway road noise and the blaringly loud right-wing AM radio from the dash. I concocted a whole backstory for Mr. Geezer as I less-than-patiently drove behind him the length of my evening commute. His 50-yr-old trophy wife was probably waiting on him at home with their 2.5 grandkids, babysitting for his deadbeat son who was out of town for a few weeks on "business" but really trying to score a "new mommy" for those kids. I felt bad, thinking so small of this gentleman in frontt of me, until the left turn blink blink blink brought me back to my own version of reality. Where was I? Oh yes – he was coming home from his long day at the office, too – the back office of some small realtor's shop where he had scammed a widow out of her last dimes on a mortgage she couldn't afford. We was working because his own nest egg had been sucked dry by the parole board, by the trophy wife, by the son who couldn't keep a job, by the leeching grandkids and their ipods and video games.
Left left left. I saw myself in however many years. Driving the same way, hopefully not leaving my own blinker flashing in a direction I couldn't turn for some bored commuter behind me to make fun of on his own way home. I tried to think happier thoughts, actually wished the old man well, his wife well, his kids well as he made it home safely and surely and with a busted front turn signal on the driver side. I wished him well, not knowing it was my last thought before the flash of white, before the rushing energy blew the paint off my own late model Honda, before the explosion blew me into the back of the Chevy, blew us both to the left a bit if I remember straight, and into eternity.