Bumper to Bumper By A. F. Knott
January 4, 2016 Comments Off on Bumper to Bumper By A. F. Knott
This morning I awoke inside my car, on the expressway, where somebody or some-THING had attached all the vehicles bumper to bumper. My Volvo was welded to a Prius in front, Ford pick-up at the rear. Everybody awoke simultaneously, in our driver’s seats, with sports radio blaring, doors welded shut, gear shifts removed, gas pedals gone, no brakes, air conditioning ON, coffee cups in their holders with a jelly donut placed on a napkin in the passenger seat. Outside workers in hazard suits were waving us forward straight into the Midtown Tunnel out of which smoke billowed and flames leapt.
I sipped my coffee, took a bite of jelly donut and listened to the sports commentator say, “I don’t want this to be lesser, or this to be greater, or this to fit into a niche. Its flayed open on the grill is what it is. We eat it, and as soon as we taste it, we know it’s good. It’s an animal and not a kind animal as we understand kindness. . .” I was impressed, but the commentator had to say something. He had to come up with an angle each and every day. That’s what he was paid to do: make shit up when there was really nothing to talk about then doll it up like he was discussing an epiphany in twentieth century English Literature class.
After we passed the tollbooths, I began to feel the heat from the tunnel. The workers outside had pulled back, leaving just the cars and all of us inside them. You could hear tires exploding ahead. The lady in her Prius was slumped sideways, I assumed from fright as much as anything. A moment ago, when I looked at the guy in his truck, he was eating his donut and I wondered if he was thinking the same thing that I was: that whoever had done this might have put some kind of medication in the jelly part that would anesthetize us before entering the tunnel. I was hoping that was the reason the lady had flopped over, because she had gobbled her donut down too quickly. I had finished mine but wasn’t feeling a damn thing, maybe a slight sugar rush. Had watched too many episodes of Saw, I guess. The donut did go well with the coffee.
I looked again at the guy in his truck still pounding his steering wheel with a little bit of jelly at the corner of his mouth. Probably finished the whole thing and realized it all came down to this, after all those payments on his truck, or whatever else.
I reached up and touched my hair. I’d forgotten to put Rogaine on my scalp. That really made me uncomfortable, the idea of going bald all the quicker.
© 2015 A. F. Knott
A. F. Knott writes novels and plays while maintaining several blogs combining flash fiction with animation and digital collages. http://afknottpoems.blogspot.co.uk