He loved the freedom of the freeways. He figured that's how they got their name. Radio on in the background, not too loud, just the quiet hum of the engine and the feeling of miles being eaten. Speedo steady between 60 and 70. He wasn't into any weird speeding shit. Nor was he a safety nut. Like sometimes he forgot..oh goddamnit! Why was the cop asking him to pull over. Sirens in the rearview mirror, irritation burgeoning, he pulled over onto the shoulder. The cop ambled to his side. "I wasn't speeding, officer", he blurted out before the cop could get a word out. "Are you aware that it is illegal to drive/ride in a car without fastening your seatbelt, sir?", unctuously enquiring. "Awww, cmon! Jeeesus!", the one thing he sometimes forgot. A ticket. Just great. Fifteen minutes later he was on his way. It was his decision dammit. Wearing a seatbelt! The only life at threat was his own. He didn't speed, didn't drink and drive, was not irresponsible! How could they have a law that made his decisions for him. What next? Telling us what to read? When to eat? He fumed all the way back home
The cop got back into his vehicle and pulled back onto the highway. That had been the last fifteen minutes of his shift. He drove back home. Wife was in the kitchen cooking, kids playing on the back porch. He sat on the rocker, watching them, enjoying the sunlight and smoking a cigarette. Blue smoke swirled lazily into the air. Drifting, unclenching into tendrils, hazy fingers apparently aimless, tousling his son's hair. His wife watching through the kitchen window had a sudden fanciful image. For one second, the wraiths of smoke hovering over her children's head became the fingers of a skeletal hand. Playfully fingering her kids. Tag. You're it. She frowned. She had to get him to stop smoking. Not that she wanted the Government to ban smoking or anything. That would just be totalitarian. What next? Telling us what to read? When to eat? She smiled to herself. This wasn't Iraq.