Passenger

5 08 2011

The miles rolled past like a menagerie of postcards behind a barrier of glass, steel and plastic.  He adjusted himself in the seat and attempted to place his neck pillow in the precise spot that would afford him the most comfort.  The muscles of his body cried out in boredom and he removed his shoes to give his toes, at least, some respite from the crowded, moist dungeons referred colloquially to as shoes.  His toes squealed in silent glee as they roamed in free and wieldly directions, no longer forced to cozy up sweatily to their neighbors.

He clumsily reached for the lever positioned awkwardly on the side of his seat.  It ratcheted up and down as he attempted to find a sweet spot that would glide him off into the wonderland of sleep.  He took it as far back as the passenger behind him would allow, and received a harsh word for his trouble.  Something about knees and some other rubbish about common courtesy and the like.  The seat came back up begrudgingly and he decided to attempt a posture that would parlay his consciousness into the natancy of sleep.  He settled in and felt his body relax.  A sigh lilted from his chest as he eased his forehead against the cold, hard glass of the window.  An inventory of his body below the forehead confirmed the tale of utter coziness, but the vibration of the window told a different story in his head.  It started of course with the vibrature of his cranial cavity which of course spread to his teeth chattering and his eardrum tattering.  Removing his head from the glass, although bestowing great relief on his sanity, provoked a wave of outrage from the nigh relaxing extremities of his body. At last a compromise was reached after a flurry of skirmishes between factions of muscles ended with all spent.

Sleep was abandoned and his attention turned to inventing ways to keep his mind off the numbing monotony of the skimming floridity of the passing countryside.  He imagined that there was a man on a motorbike riding along side his vehicle.  The imaginary man, who shall be referred to as Roger, had as his objective to stay abreast of the man’s window and keep him entertained.  Numerous obstacles challenged the ingenuity of Roger as he raced along.  Fences were had to be jumped, culverts to catapult over and street signs to avoid.  It was such fun to watch Roger cavort and cartwheel his way among the swiftly moving denizens of the roadside.  In fact, it brought a faint smile to the man’s awkwardly reclined face.

The droll humor soon turned dull and Roger’s antics seemed more and more outlandish.  The motor bike was invincible to any barrier, for if Roger was not quick enough to anticipate an obstruction, he could easily be reimagined on the opposite side.

The man yawned and turned his attention to the dial set in the center of the console.  Mischief played across his pupils as he focused on the knob like a child focuses on the last bit of candy in their Halloween bag.  His finger twitched in anticipation, begging his arm to extend so that the dial could come within its reach.  With a sideways glance at the driver, he made his move.  A cacophony of shifting sounds spread through the spectrum of sonancy as the turning mechanism searched for the proper frequency.

His hand opened with a magician’s flourish, leaving the radio tuned to the proper station.  A collective moan of dissent escaped the throats of his traveling companions, signalling the success of his endeavor.  What the song lacked in fecundity, it made up for in mindlessness.  The beat was a constant reverberation of bass laid over with counterpoints of descantry.

The driver’s hand shot out and jammed the radio button into its catch.  The man greeted the baleful look of the driver with one of submission and answered with a reticent shrug.

The outstretching moment of discomfort was mercifully cut short when the vehicle’s speed diminished to the point of naught followed by the capitulation of the engine.  “Have a good day at the office, Ted.”

Ted mumbled a response while he grappled for the door handle.  He stood and stretched in the early morning air, ready for the adventures that awaited him during the rest of the day.

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