I'm not a huge fan of road construction, along with many other people who are also trying to get to work on time.
As soon as I turned out of my driveway this morning, I saw a man up ahead who was wearing a lime green vest and a hard hat. He was holding a "Stop" sign that was pointed in my direction. One quick wave of his wrist and he could turn that sign around to say "Slow" instead. Alas, that wasn't going to happen anytime soon.
Damn. Late for work again.
I had my foot on my brake pedal and my eyes on that sign. Meanwhile, he had his eyes on my front license plate. He began walking toward my car, so I rolled down my window and said hello.
"I see you like my MJ," he said.
"I adore Michael Jackson," I replied.
My front license plate has Michael Jackson's picture on it. Purchased it just last month when I got my new car, and it's one of many Michael Jackson decorations that adorn my shiny white travelin' machine.
"So do you like all the Jackon 5 stuff? The early stuff?"
"I like it all. I own his entire discography. I absolutely love every era of MJ."
"Well just the other night, I was watching the show that he did before he died . . . I just wish I could've been there, in that moment," he said. "With just him and his crew."
"You mean 'This Is It'?" I asked.
"Yeah, that's it!" he said. "I had my volume cranked all the way up. I was really jammin'!"
"I miss him," I said.
"I'm sad the music stopped."
"There will never be another Michael Jackson," I said. "No one will ever compare."
A voice came over his radio. He walked away, looked up and down the road, and allowed the car behind me to come forward and make a left. I was still waiting for this 50ish-year-old black man--no, wait: I'd rather describe him as my fellow MJ fan--to let me make a right turn. Finally, he gave me the signal and I slowly lifted my foot from the brake pedal.
"It was great talking to you," I said. "I hope you have a great day."
"Great talking to you, too."
I smiled and rolled up my window, but didn't look back at him through my rearview mirror. Maybe that's because I was secretly hoping that I will see him again tomorrow.
Fiction, poetry, and all that good stuff . . .