“Buckle up.” As soon as the muffled echo of the car doors dissipates he utters those words, sometimes barely audible, sometimes direct command, but never disputable. Disobedience is met with a stubborn refusal to drive, a stare straight ahead, hands on the wheel, prepared to take you to your destination whenever you comply.
Any protest, whether stemming from the drive’s short distance or the rider’s maturity or personal choice, is met with a repetition of the original command. It becomes a ward, a mantra, the driver commanding a blessing upon you.
Further protests inevitably become heated and the driver’s directive becomes steel. That’s when he turns to you and you can see in his eyes the flames and the blood, the screaming and the chaos it was forged in. Not in Iraq or Afghanistan, but just some street in Baltimore.
And then you put on your seat belt.
See the author’s published work here.
Image courtesy of Nick Plumber.