I Release My Barbaric Yawp

It’s Tuesday and I’m supposed to be at the film festival office at 9am because I’m on the screening committee and that’s when we’re meeting. 9am. Except I’m not there on time and somehow I’m running late and Laura has taken the boys to school and I’ve forgotten to ask her to give me a lift. So I try calling her car but we haven’t put any minutes on the car phone…

And it doesn’t work; the call doesn’t go through. So I get in my car and slide out of the driveway, on the snow, and head on into town. My phone immediately starts ringing. I juggle the steering wheel and manouever the Motorola menace out of my pocket. It’s one of my fellow screening committee members. She can’t make it. No worries. She can pick up the box of stuff we’re watching and catch up.

I find myself in a queue of traffic, two lanes have become one with some big traffic machine monster blocking one of the lanes. I pull off the main street and get myself into the parking structure. Which is silly really because I only have two dollars in my wallet and it’s going to cost more than that when it’s time to leave. But anyway. I’m there. And I’m late.

I find a space on the fourth floor. Well, it says four on a big yellow sign. It could be the third floor in real life because Americans count the ground floor as “one”. I park too close to someone’s Hoon Mobile and can’t open the door. I try to pull back and look for another space but another car is already coming around the corner and it feels like they’re all over me, so I just pull in and deal with it. I bump Hoon twit’s wing because they’ve parked over the middle of the line and they’re bastards for doing that so they deserve it.

I get down the stairs and to the corner of the street without falling over on snow or ice and that’s pretty good, although everyone else manages it here so I guess it’s nothing that special. And, of course, as I get there, the lights change and I can’t cross. Shit. Why does the universe do this to me? Me??? I let out an enormous belch, venting my spleen against the invisible forces ranged against me. Burrrrrppppp! Oh, yeah, baby. Take that! Pretty good. I feel highly satisfied with myself. The world is put to rights again. Heh.

I look around and somehow, quiet movement, unheard arrival, there is now someone standing next to me at the crossing. And of course they heard me. And the joy of belching free into the frigid morning is greatly diminished. They may have a Constitutional Amendment protecting my right to vocalise but it makes no difference. I burped. It was good. And then I realised someone else heard and maybe disapproved and a measure of joy is taken out of the insouciant exclamation.

Why does that happen? I mean why do these people just appear like that? Not why does it diminish the joy of the moment but why are they there, in my head space, when I want that solitude to be free in public? Pah. Whatever. That’s a spicy meat-a-ball. It’s funny again now.

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