The script was finished. Christmas was close. And The Van Man had some earned pay on the way. In a matter of days, he would hop on a flight to the old neighborhood, Birmingham. They called it The Magic City. "They" were the locals and the city was anything but magical. Poor, yes. Mystical? Only to the blissfully ignorant. Yet, the remnants of his family still lived there. And he was to see them. But first, he needed to get through Monday.
The working day had him transporting cars and drivers back and forth between the airport and Riverside. Over one hundred miles round trip. Half of it solitary, just Van Man and the traffic. The travel filled with deep, philosophical questions of why the hell he was working the job in the first place. The return trip saw Van Man transporting a couple of the men he worked with. Two pissed off black dudes who definitely did not want to be there.
"You guys wanna grab lunch on the way back?", asked Van Man.
"Man, whateva!", replied one Black Dude, angrily. He then leaned his seat back and closed his eyes.
Silence and the radio were the only options for the hour-plus drive back to the airport. Van Man cranked up the volume a few notches. "That's All" by Genesis played on the classic rock station. The three men rode down the highway. As Phil Collins asked the fundamental question of why it always seemed to be him looking at someone and that same someone looking at him, Van Man glanced at the Black Dudes tapping their legs to the beat. They liked it. And Van Man hoped the station kept up the good stuff.
The work day ended and Van Man headed for the store. He was in need of a good cleaning and was low on raw honey. He found the items with ease and made his purchase. Van Man walked away from the store, The Sun had already set. A woman on a bicycle yelled at a vehicle. She was enraged. The driver of the car tried to apologize.
"I got your license! You don't do this!", screamed The Bicyclist.
"I didn't see you!", replied The Driver.
"I'm going to have you fired! You fucking drive for a living, you don't do this!", screamed The Bicyclist.
Van Man looked closer at the car. It was a parking enforcement vehicle. He continued on to his van and The Bicyclist screamed as she pedaled away. An older gentleman passed by gesturing at all of the commotion.
"Whoa", said The Gentleman.
"Gonna be a good Monday night!", exclaimed Van Man and The Gentleman chuckled.
The van idled at a red light. Van Man looked over at a good-looking couple in the truck next to him. They obviously hailed from the land of cool, as they stared in awe of his filthy beast. The girl mouthed "Love your van". Van Man knew what she said, but rolled down his window to hear it. She obliged.
"I love your van. I love the windows", said The Girl, in awe.
"Thanks. It's a seventy-nine", replied Van Man.
The light turned green and Van Man drove off, safe in the confines of his beautiful van. A place where nothing could touch him. Except for spiders. He held his raw honey under the glimmer of the passing street lights. There was something important to be said about Mondays and Phil Collins and Christmas. Something thoughtful. But The Van Man had to piss and wash his hair. It had been a while for both. And there was always Tuesday.