Friday, July 6, 2012
Don't wave no goodbye
About a week ago, I was sitting at my desk doing my part to make air travel a happy experience for the customer and world at large when my mobile buzzed. Chloe. The ambient sounds told me she was driving. She doesn't usually call while she's behind the wheel.
"Mom, there's a guy behind me flashing his lights and tailgating me."
"Call 911." It was the only rational thing I could think to suggest.
"Mom. Really? I don't even know how to give a description of his car. He's behind me."
"Whatever you do, don't stop."
"What if there's something really wrong with my car?"
As she talked, she must have slowed down because the other driver drew alongside her. Chloe shouted "What?" and waved her phone around.
He sped ahead and turned right at the next intersection. Chloe went on her way. I went back to protecting the flying public by sending out mass emails and posting documents on a website.
I'm motoring south in the left lane of I-75. In my peripheral vision, I notice a vehicle on my right. It's even with me. Odd is my first thought.
I'm imagining it, I think, after Chloe's experience.
I speed up. The black truck next to me does too.
I don't want to look. I don't. I don't want to look.
The charmer behind the wheel - salt and pepper hair, a mustache, aviators and a cap - grins. A big grin. Wolfish. Ah. He has my attention and he's ever so pleased.
For goodness sake says the roll of my eyes.
My attention is back on the road and my audio book. Ignore him. He pulls level with me and stays there.
I look again and there's that grin. And a hand over his heart. Thump thump, he indicates, patting his chest.
I smile because I've been well-trained and shake my head. Go back to watching the road.
He honks his horn to get my attention. There is a car in front of me and one behind. I can't vary my speed by much or change lanes.
I glance in his direction and he points at his chest then at me then at his chest again. Fans himself.
He's spotted the cleavage.
I roll my eyes southward. Well, hello there. With my hands dutifully placed at 10 o'clock and 2 o'clock, my breasts are smooshed in just a way as to create that cleft. The one that makes grown men act like ignoramuses. Frustrating for those of us with big breasts. Stacy and Clinton advise the big-breasted to not wear shirts with fabric covering the chest because it makes one appear even larger. And a decent bra makes cleavage.
It's a fine line. Running right between your breasts and into imaginations.
He blows his horn again and I tug my shirt up to cover the valley. Again with the horn. I look his way and he tugs his shirt down.
I'm slow. I don't know what he wants. I wave him off.
He gets my attention again and points to me, then pulls the front of his shirt away from his body.
Oh. I see. He wants me to show him my boobs. For free.
Call me strange, but I do not get the thrill of begging a stranger to show you her body parts.
That's not really what it's about though, is it? It's about power. Intimidation. Perceived subversion. Testing the limits. And I'm thinking, Dude, I used to have my boobs on the internet. Getting me to show you my tits is really not the special thing you think it is. Unless, of course, the real thrill is the fact that we're cooking along at about 75 miles per hour.
I think of my daughter who was potentially in danger because she'd committed the crime of being female while driving on an open road in a little white car. I'm getting angry.
I punch the CD button to stop the audio book. I've missed whole paragraphs. The car in front of me finally moves out of my way and I push forward. Black truck keeps up with me until he gets caught behind a slower driver and no way to switch lanes.
I change lanes a couple of times, still a few miles from my exit onto I285.
Black truck catches up with me again. He's on my left. He's behind me. He's on my right again.
He follows me onto the exit, still in the lane to my right on the long ramp that bisects at its end. I glance once more. He makes a sad face. Hands off the wheel - he's praying for my acquiescence. Please, he mouths. Please, please.
I push the button and the passenger's side window slides down. Anticipation makes Black Truck nudge his sunglasses down his nose.
I smile at him. Game on.
I point at my chest and shrug. He nods. Still hopeful. It's now or never. Come on, he mouths. The wind coming through the window is hot and smells of exhaust.
I go west. He goes east. I switch the audio book on and search for the spot where I stopped listening.