rony is where you find it when you are a writer.
I’m tapping-off (i.e. using my pass card) off the train and it’s coming down in buckets. Someone on the seat next to me had shown me the rain patterns on his phone – no waiting this long line of storms out so it will be a wet bike ride home.
And wet it is – the roads are flooding. Around the low grates, it’s about four inches deep, coming over my pedals and churning around the chains. My glasses are soaked, I’m wet to the skin, and the winds are buffeting me, white-capping across this pavement ocean.
Get to one spot along a narrow land – there is a UPS truck sitting in the opposite line, the poor driver amazoning his way through the deluge to the distant doorstep. A car is coming the other way, a big FUV. And even though I’m there first, even though its my lane and I’m in water up to my ankles and it’s steamboating through my spokes, the driver goes with the most basic of bullying tasks – pushing right towards me. I manage to get the bike to stop (the sodden brakes are useless) and drop my foot into mid-calf storm water. And as the woman goes by me, she gives me a little spiteless thank-you wave. Yeah, thanks for letting me through. I guess.
If I had my life to live over again, I would have plugged the gap and stood there waiting for her to pack out, blocking her path. Why not? I’m already wet. But that’s where life is different from writing – we don’t have time to have our cleverness honed. We just react.
And as I’m underway (underwater) again, sloshing along, I think of the irony of that moment, of her waving to me like we’re sharing something (whereas she is warm and dry and as ethical as a peasant-burning Cossack, and I’m soaked). She pushed through with an iron-fisted physical threat, then frendily waved in passing. Yes, it’s a moment to remember. Next time I want to capture a moment of pure livid irony, or unfairness (like how a nun feels as strafing zeroes pass through the smoke of a burning Pacific orphanage), I’ll remember that moment. Maybe one of the pilots will toss the spy-fleck nun a little wave. And I know how she’ll feel. I’ll capture it to a ‘T’.
But that’s the writer thing; catch the moments of our life that might otherwise blur past, analyze them, remember them, and reuse them.
Oh, and it was ironic that it was a UPS truck, since I was coming home from my job as a FedEx administrator.