Mind-wandering at a stop-light
|It couldn’t have been more than 5 seconds: the thought, its follow-through, its subsequent disappearance. How many moments like that come and go? They arrive and depart without leaving any markings of their existence.
This one was no different than the others. As she slowed to a stop behind a Range Rover waiting at a red light her eyes drifted to the tall reeds in the drainage ditch at the side of the road. Her mind began the wandering before her car actually came to a halt. The break lights of the gas-guzzler glowed in her peripheral vision. Its exhaust piped smog into the frigid air. They were swaying, the reeds… very tall…brown…likely dead…or were they dormant?….do the skeletons of the cat-tails regenerate or do new shoots crowd out the old ones that decay as the spring thaws their roots?...there was a place along the road near grandpa’s shop that used to be filled with cat-tails…or was it pussywillows?...he would always cut some for gram to arrange in the vase by the front door…..this was the seventh winter without him…another birthday un-shared….how should I mark it this year?...mom will probably make a cake…if she burns it again this year I’ll suggest we go out to eat…maybe Italian…ahhh! Rome…what a great trip that was…it was about this time of year too…not so much snow…lots of brown…like the reeds…crispy with cold….
…..the glow of the break lights disappeared and the tank gradually increased its speed as she turned her attention back to the road and accelerated….