on a country lane, this sunday afternoon

the car was parked on the side of my road. there were two people in it – i saw their outline clearly from the bend in the road, a quarter mile or so away. it looked like they might be lost, or unsure of where to go, many week-end visitors to this valley get lost in the tangle of roads with no name and vineyards. i was driving home and slowed down as i neared the parked car. it would be easy to stop by the side of their car, roll down my window and ask if i could help.

in the nanosecond that i was window-to-window with the car, a station-wagon of some sort, the woman sitting in the passenger seat- mid 50’s, short unfashionable brown bob haircut, sleeveless shell or shift dress, pale – turned and slapped the man in the driver seat. she threw her arm at his face with such force that he flinched towards the window and i gasped. the last thing i saw was the large O of her mouth and the sour anger in her eyes.

i heard nothing.

all i saw was that and the creeping bald-spot and the short-sleeve shirt of the man.  i drove up the hill and  in the rear-view mirror saw that she was still leaning into him.

i hope by now they are sitting in a nice café. i hope she apologized for her outburst and he apologized for whatever caused it. i hope they are smiling at each other and saying – ohmygod we are such drama queens, thanks for sticking with me, i love you – but i don’t think so.


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