Monica Bielanko
That's What She Said
Just A Junk Drawer Dream
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Marital Metaphor

It's cold and the wind whips my hair around my face and blows my car all over the highway lane, but I don't care. My heart pounds, thumping against my chest. This is ridiculous, I think. Still, I keep scanning traffic heading in the opposite direction on Interstate 15 here in Utah, looking for you.

You called five minutes ago asking where I was. "Just getting on the freeway", I responded in tones tinged with annoyance. "Why?"
"Just wondering. I'm at Point of the Mountain."
"Oh. Yeah, we'll probably pass each other in a few minutes", I tiredly observed.

Sensing my annoyance, and let's call a spade a spade and say that annoyed is my usual mood, you said a quick goodbye and hung up.

How cute. You wanted to acknowledge each other on the freeway as you head home from work and I drive to the news station. And I acted annoyed. I am such a dick. But I hate answering the phone on the freeway. At the news station I see the grisly and often fatal results of cell talkers and texters. Honestly, I hate answering my phone, period. I still cannot submit to technology and allow the fact that people can reach me whenever they want, wherever I am regardless of my mood. And usually I have to answer, am obligated to answer. I hate it.

Now, here I am desperately searching for the familiar family car you're driving home. I call you back. "Where are you?"
"Coming down from Point of the Mountain." You're over it, I can tell. No longer interested in the juvenile act of waving to each other on the freeway.
"I should pass you in a few minutes," I tell you anyway. "What lane are you in?"

Excited beyond rational comprehension, I scan each oncoming car on the other side of the freeway while trying to maintain freeway speeds. I don't know what I expect, I mean, will I have time to wave? I roll down my window and rest my elbow on the door so I'm ready to wave wildly when I spot you. Maybe you'll see me and flash your lights.

My anticipation builds and I marvel at how important it has become for me to see you on the freeway. If we pass each other and don't know it I'll be so disappointed. I want to see my husband. No, I need to see you.

I continue driving like this for several minutes, left hand hanging out the window while I scan oncoming traffic. Maybe we already passed each other, I worry. No, no. I'd have seen you, I know it. I've looked at every, single vehicle that's passed. Even when the thin trickle of traffic erupts into a steady stream, I look at every car.

My heart pounds. So weird. Why is it so important that I see you? It just is.

Suddenly I see the car, a flash of you. I nearly break my knuckle trying to get my hand out the window but you're already gone. You weren't even looking for me, I could tell. Head straight forward.

I surprise myself by crying.

Two cars passed on the freeway once. See you on the weekend.