Monday, January 12, 2009

Today I loved a stranger.

After my early morning flight arrived in Chattanooga from St. Pete, FL, I started driving. I drove maybe 10 miles out of Chat toward Nashville when I noticed a Honda C-RV, black, just like my sister's passing me. Then, maybe 2 minutes later I passed it. Then it passed me. And we played this game for a while.

At one point the Honda cut it close and got in front of me to go around a semi, but it was on a curve and she used her brakes. So, I raised my voice to my empty car "IT'S DANGEROUS TO BRAKE ON A CURVE!" Then I passed her. Then she passed me. I was irritated with her insistence on fluctuating her speed, since I was cruising at (a mature-for-my-age) 75mph. I even let out a few exasperated sighs.

Somewhere along the way though, between leap-frogging each other, and tucking ourselves behind the other's car, we became road-buddies. The middle-aged, heavyset, African American lady with curly, short hair in her SUV cruised with me and my hotrod 3000GT. We went like that, me cruising at 75 and her behind me getting close then falling behind, us only leaving the right lane to pass trucks together.

She passed me one final time before she got in front of me to exit the highway. She was riding on the ramp that paralleled the interstate and I threw up a hand to wave at the moment she did the same. I immediately smiled. My windows are practically an impenetrable black from tinting, so there is little chance she waved to me in response; she may not have even seen my wave at all. I looked down at my odometer and we shared 95 miles together. In 95 miles we came to appreciate each other, even to the extent that left us waving calmly, honestly, thankfully, to a total stranger we will never see again.

No comments: