Page 40 - WTP Vol. VIII #3
P. 40

Ride Share (continued from preceding page)
prompting of fate but it could be a sign to stand your
own ground.
It’s not always someone’s fate to fail, I thought, though at times it may feel that way. We all descend into that pit of doubt at one time or another, and it only grows deeper if we believe we haven’t any power. Giving
in to fatalistic belief can lead to what you’re trying to prevent. After pulling up to her house and taking her luggage to her door, I offered, You’ll win if you believe in yourself. Listen to your heart. Be strong.
My evening went humming along and as the hours wore on I scooted here and there within a circum- scribed area of affluence, avoiding runs downtown or into the sprawling suburbs north and east. When not engaged with a passenger I had plenty of time to think and review the choices I had made that had impacted my life. Put together a theme can emerge from one’s behavior, repeated mistakes offset by small personal triumphs that make you believe there’s some justice in the world. What’s hard to dismiss are the nagging re- grets. I regretted what happened with Deanna and the stain in our marriage that couldn’t be washed away. Seeing things from a distance can obscure their true nature and only on closer inspection are you able to discern where you went wrong. The fear that surfaces when you know that what you began with no longer remains leaves an empty feeling and a certainty that no matter how hard you try things will never be as they once were. She had said she was living my life and not her own. Stifled was the word she used. I didn’t know what she was talking about. She’d always had her freedom, yet maybe it wasn’t the type she needed.
I now realize that this is a symptom of the general dissatisfaction among women that’s currently gaining traction. Some would say it’s a trend. But a momen- tary gathering of voices eventually fades when there’s no real substance behind it, while this collective cry has the momentum of a permanent shift in society. How will it change us all?
In the wee hours I was called to the westside estates overlooking the city. My GPS took me along a narrow tree-lined street overrun with parked cars and to a valet stand in front of a hedge-protected property where two young men wearing dark slacks, white shirts and ties, and sporting beards, waited for party- goers to call it a night. One of them now turned to the couple emerging from the driveway and taking their ticket he grabbed a set of keys from the rack and went sprinting down the block, the other leaning toward
my open passenger window. He couldn’t have missed the decal on my window stating who I worked for,
but nevertheless I said, Pickup. Down the drive I saw several knots of people gathered on a manicured lawn in front of the large house, their voices spilling into the night. A few singles walked down the drive before two young women came wobbling along on their high heels. As they approached, I called, Marcie?
They both climbed in and I caught the scent of their commingled perfume along with a whiff of weed. Once they were settled, I asked where they were going.
Away from here, Marcie said.
Okay, her friend put it, why don’t you stay with me tonight and we’ll discuss this in the morning.
No, I’ll deal with this now. Tomorrow I’ll rationalize it away. You know I’m right, Jen.
Jen gave me an address in a trendy district favored by the crowd where restaurants were making a name for themselves and rents reflected a newfound gen- trification. I turned around in the nearest driveway and began coasting down the hill, Marcie saying, I should get a lawyer.
Honey, don’t you think you’re over reacting?
Marcie pursed her lips but had nothing to say, obvi- ously conflicted.
He was flirting with you. You remember flirting, those tongue-in-cheek inuendoes tossed back and forth. It’s innocent fun.
His tongue was somewhere else. Along with his hands. Against my will.
Jen laughed and said, From what I saw your will seemed to be pretty elastic.
I should have known his type when he took food from my plate. Did you see that? Reached in like it was his.
No, I didn’t see that, but I think you’re blowing this out of proportion. I mean what’s all this coming to, Marcie? Guys and girl can no longer play together? There’s got to be a little friction for it to work, and not every guy is a bad guy. You know, half of what’s going on is our own fault. We dress up sexy and flaunt ourselves and when we get a response, we say it’s the wrong one.
Well he was the wrong one.

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