Saturday, October 31, 2015

Give 'Em a Smile

  Morning traffic in The Valley crawled. The Van Man had a gig to get to and he needed the money bad. A drive into the Westside from Sherman Oaks. A piece of cake. He was to take Sepulveda. This was the wrong morning to take Sepulveda.
  The van sat still in a sea of vehicles. Van Man did not want to be late, but he knew everyone was going to be late that day. From the other direction, a car decided it wanted in on some of the slow-moving action and came to a stop at the van. The driver wanted Van Man to let her in. And she inched in front of him to make sure he knew it. Van Man had things to do and places to be, but he obliged. The car took the opportunity and promptly cut off the remaining three lanes to get where it wanted to be. Cars honked at the Woman Driver, but she did not care. What were they going to do in the slow traffic? Van Man knew someone would need a very large and fast machine to plow through all of the idling vehicles just to get to the Driver. Kinda like that crazy Oklahoma chick, thought Van Man. He was right, though. Someone crazy enough to drive the super plow machine would definitely be needed.
  A shuttle bus was now idling in the same position as the previous car and expected to be let over, so it could break some laws. Van Man was not going to let the Shuttle in front. He was comfortable letting the Shuttle get through somewhere behind him. As the traffic cleared and the van pulled up, the Shuttle pulled behind the van and honked. A small flame began inside Van Man. The Shuttle pulled up beside the van. Van Man looked over as the Shuttle driver stared at him and yelled in some strange language. The flame became red hot. "What?", asked Van Man and the Shuttle Driver continued to yell. The flame became a fire. "Fuck! You! Fuuuuck! Yooouuu!", screamed Van Man as the traffic opened up. The Shuttle Driver was dumbstruck that the man he wanted to cut off was screaming back at him. The van drove on and Van Man quickly cooled. Some motherfuckers got balls, he thought. He was not angry. Van Man felt good from the explosion. It had been a release from all of the coughing and hard times of late. The van slowed to a stop at the final intersection before the traffic loosened up. Van Man glanced to his right and spotted the Shuttle directly across from him in the far right lane. The Shuttle Driver stared and yelled. Van Man smiled like he was eight years old again and gave the Driver one more for the road. "Fuuuuuuck. Yooouuuuu", howled Van Man in a thoughtfully drawn-out way. He wanted to make sure the Driver understood exactly what the message was. The light turned green and Van Man drove away, chuckling.
  It was going to be a good one. The breeze was in and the clouds muffled the late October heat. The gig would pay him a couple of hundred and that meant he could eat. The cough was still hanging around, but nothing was perfect. The Van Man had a smile on his face and made it on time. There was not too much else to ask for.

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