A World of Speculation

The blue boat of a car came onto the freeway in the morning traffic and slipped in between two trucks. I was in the center lane, and although the left lane was clear, I was not traveling as fast as the cars that had been coming up in that lane all morning. I stayed put. A few carlengths ahead, the blue car put on its left blinker, then turned it off. I thought the driver had seen me coming and decided to wait.

As I came into the car’s blind spot, it started coming into the middle lane. I swerved left, missed her, and honked. Even though I could have prevented it by moving left earlier, I muttered, “You’re supposed to look before changing lanes.”

A mile or so later I’m still in the middle lane, and the boat pulls alongside me and slows to my speed. I look over, and there’s a lady driving, early 60s with big hair, and she’s waving her forefinger and mouthing the word, “Sorry.”

I waved back — all my fingers.

It’s easy to forget sometimes that those inanimate objects of steel and glass and plastic are in a sense the highway avatars of real people. And then a big-haired lady comes along in a blue boat to remind you of errors and repentance and forgiveness — all at 60 mph.