In the middle of the oatmeal, a muffled bleeping from the outside world disrupts the calm at the breakfast table.
“What’s that?” he demands in Minuteman alert mode.
“Sounds like somebody’s car horn,” she says without care or concern or any hint of this becoming a DefCon One situation.
He is up from the table, however, heading for the door with such speed that the vortex of anxiety in his wake scatters napkins and yesterday’s mail across the floor. She has all she can do to maintain her grip on the table, her knuckles bled white against a force not unlike a turbo-charged ShopVac.
Outside in the driveway, as he feared, the Prius is serenading the neighborhood with a bicentennial update of the 1812 overture as reimagined for car horn. Heroically he wrenches open the door, slides behind the steering wheel and delivers a well-practiced martial arts knock-out punch to the On button. His satisfying reward: blessed silence.
Back inside, breakfast has gone cold.
She says “It was our car?”
He nods, wondering if it is legal to renuke a previously nuked bowl of oatmeal.
“Whenever I hear a car horn,” she says, “I never think it’s ours.”
He favors her with eyelids squeezed flat like firing slits in a Normandy pillbox. “I always think it’s ours,” he says.
And so, with tranquility regained they reseat themselves and press onward with oatmeal and small talk and just a hint of amazement that on this, the forty-fourth anniversary of their wedding day, they are as different as chocolate and strawberry. Which isn’t so bad. It could have been oil and water and then where would they be?
©Patrick A. McGuire and A Hint of Light 2013, all rights reserved.
Photo this page: Sunset landscape, public domain, free stock photo.http://www.public-domain-image.com/full-image/nature-landscapes-public-domain-images-pictures/sunset-public-domain-images-pictures/sunset-landscape.jpg-free-stock-photo.html