She switched the conditioner on to full blast. Ice cold air hitting her face. She stuck the cigarette between her lips, bent forward towards the steering wheel and lit it with a practiced click of the lighter. She lowered the window down a crack, letting pent-up wind rush in. Turned up the volume to drown out the noise of the freeway. Speedo touched 70. The sun shone gently, approving the Sunday morning. Half a weekend gone. Blown away with ciggie smoking, sucked down with cheap Scotch. A lot of talking, a lot of keemah, a lot of pipe-dreaming. The feeling of content that was blowing in with the wind spread through the car, invading space ruthlessly. Johnny Nash, "I can see clearly now the rain is gone". She turned the volume up even higher and sang along, her fingers tapping time on the wheel.
It's funny how these moments happen when you least expect them, moments of descending peace, things falling into focus or rather falling out of focus, perspective reigning for a brief interim. And then just like that, a click of the fingers, a blaring of horns, a confusion of impressions, reality leaps back and it's over.
The cops filed the report. A summary of her life, a briefly telling epitaph, a three-letter-long fullstop. DUI. Shit happens. Shoulders shrug.
Hearts on sleeves aren't in vogue anymore. Keep yours safe.