Sunday, July 02, 2006

Issue No. 3, Sight - Witnesseth

“…Is that? …Was that the beep? …I don’t know if that was the beep. …It could have been a plate I just dropped. …No, I’m going to continue as if that were the beep. I’m calling in regards to the flyer you posted for witnesses at the corner of North Elm and Cone Boulevard. I witnessed something there. Perhaps I’ve seen what you’re looking for. The name’s Brumschitz. I was driving – now hold on a minute, seeing as though I’m a witness, I’ll probably need some form of protection. Scratch Brumschitz. The name’s Tankersley. I was driving back from the video store about noonish on – oh, to lend some credibility, I was working. I’m a biographer and looking for a subject, sometimes renting a video gets me over the hump days. I was driving back from the video store with both volumes of Redenbacher: A Salute to a Rebel, really putting the pedal to the metal so I could get home and watch the videos before my nap, when I got stuck behind one of those student driver cars. Either they’re supposed to drive thirty miles below the limit or this one should have been driving the short car. I was going five, eight miles tops, for crying out loud! Now, don’t get the wrong idea, I’m not normally one to pass anyone, there’s enough speeds on this earth for everyone to be comfortable without having to be shown up, but dear God I wanted to pass that brat! I wanted to pass her then turn around and pass her again. I wanted to circle her molasses over and over until I drove her off the road! And I would have if it weren’t for the funeral procession coming down the other lane. A rich stiff too, the procession was ten miles long and all Hummers. So I sat behind the learning disability, passing the time by praying she wouldn’t make my turn. Of course she did. Just before I signaled left, she signaled left and we swung together onto North Elm over the course of eighteen traffic light switches. I tried desperately to appease the honkers by raising my shoulders and pointing to the student but it only made them angrier and they really didn’t get less angry when I showed them my bitten, middle cuticles. By then, I thought I was going to follow the delinquent right into my garage and live with her, slowly, for the rest of my life, but something totally unexpected happened. Just after the turn onto North Elm, she turned into St. Pius. Albeit as if she were accelerating by drooling on the pedal, but turned she did, and into a church. Why a church? There was no parking lot there big enough to practice in. And, as far as I knew, driving instructors were affiliated with the public schools, not churches. I craned my neck as I passed and saw an eight-year-old girl – I swear to God, they don’t make pubescents that small – step out of the car and walk towards the church doors, and I saw no evidence of an instructor accompanying her. Waiting at the red down the street, I couldn’t shake the confounding notion of a child learning to drive and then stopping at a church. I was sitting there not shaking the notion when the light turned green. I got halfway into the intersection and stopped. I was arrested. A little movie flickered on in my brain and forced me to watch. I saw the girl walking down the church aisles. The church was empty, just the girl walking down the church aisles as slowly as she drove. I saw her reach the platform and stand beside the altar. Then she dropped. Or she danced. She danced in the second it took her to drop to the ground. A Subaru caved in my back door and spun me around. I was spinning, glimpsing some foggy connection between slowness and God that made it finally seem like” – BEEP.

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