Hostile Sunny Afternoon

It’s a cliché that suburbia has its dark underside. You bet it does.  For me, I found it sitting right out in the open. Things were moving at a pace that confused me and bothered me. So, I wrote about it. Here it is.

Hostile Sunny Afternoon

We stop the car. The convenience store parking lot is busy
It’s scaring me
Too much
motion and
impatience
way out of line for such doings
as filling up on gas or grabbing a cold drink or buying ice.
I’m waiting in the car for the others. I don’t go in the store I don’t want to.
People here are tense. Hard expressions on the faces.
A lot of walking out in front of cars
to get into that store and out and
thinking only of that and then
those cars
having to jam on the brakes and more hard looks if not
curses and name-calling muttered or otherwise
depending on
whether anyone wants to make a point.
So much angry feeling here
gridded out in white lines and arrows
unequipped to contain it.
A woman
One hand steering One holding a pastry One hand wiping crumbs away from her mouth
-Yes, I meant it-
backs the car out of the space peering into the rearview mirror
and I am sure it’s to see what’s going on with the crumbs
not for the view behind her
which is that of
a workman stepping out of a pickup truck.
She honks the horn
he gives her the finger
not a soul blinks an eye but me.
Nobody has been injured or died so
I guess it’s all right.
Laugh if you want but I have marked this place off my list
because I don’t know
how long a person can resist what’s going on here.
Like I said, it scares me.

Washington, DC. February, 2015.

Washington, DC. February, 2015.

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4 thoughts on “Hostile Sunny Afternoon

  1. Thank you. We stopped at this same place last night and it was just as confusing and jarring to me. I wonder what it is that makes it feel so much this way to me – the site? the arrangement? the selection of people who come there? I find this kind of thing fascinating to observe and to think about.

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