Sunday, February 26, 2012

signal

Wyatt's Crossing          Sardis, MS



A ninety degree turn could take you to the second Graceland but let's not go all the way. We need to get out of here so we'll take a right when we've had too much of that road. We're long past city water and cable. Oh you forgot your cell phone? Left it at the house? Hopefully there's no signal out here anyway. Oops, I take that back. There is a signal, kinda like a gang sign but it doesn't matter your gender or color of skin or religion or what you do for a living or what you drive or what you wear or who you think you are or who you think you're not. All you have to do is the signal.

You don't even have to know the exact signal. You are welcome to have your own variation of it. I have my own, one I learned from my Dad when I was a kid. It's not as if he sat me down and said, Now Boog there is this signal you must know so people will know you came from me. Learn the signal, always use it, and then we started practicing. No, he just did it and now I do it.

My favorite way to do the signal is with the window down and music playing. Today it will be Brothers. I always take a left before I should and at the instant it's too late to abandon the decision. Oh well, we'll turn around up here, it's nothing that can't be corrected. We will just figure it was meant to be and keep going. It will take us five turns before I get to show you the true beauty of the signal. Before we do those turns you'll notice me do it but you may not see anyone else do it. There's nothing wrong with those people other than they're distracted. You know what I mean. We've all been that way before and will be that way again.

Five turns and a store to our left will show us our first and most beautiful display of the signal. There will be about nine people standing outside in small groups and you and me will be going at the most thirty miles an hour feeling like it's too fast and they'll look at us and we'll look at them and I'll do the ever so slight nod. Resting at twelve o'clock on the steering wheel my right hand will come alive slow like as four fingers lifted with the thumb staying tucked under the wheel. It is a hi, a hey, a this is a nice day, a whatup, a peace sign without the hippie.

Then you'll see it, the beauty of it. Eight of those nine people (studies show there's always one pissed off person in the bunch but that's okay 'cause we've been pissed off before too) will do their own version of the signal. And it's so cool 'cause it's not really a wave, more like a lifting of the hand with an ever so slight nod of the head. Eight strangers will do the signal in unison.

In that moment under one of the bluest of skies we've seen in a long time with some of my favorite music and the wind pushing through the open windows and we are here and people are kind in their acknowledgement of each other you are welcome to call me an optimist, a dreamer.

It doesn't matter what you say. I've seen it. It exists.






I am grateful my Dad showed me the signal.







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