Tuesday, March 19, 2013

All Parked Cars are the Same.

The yellow race car, all muscly and thick, sat at the red light. He’d sat there like this for years. Sun danced off his shiny yellow paint. His tires were glossy and new, his windows so clean they seemed absent. But it was the sound of his engine that made the others cars giddy with excitement.
If only this red light would turn green.
The big bus idled at the light next to the yellow car, smiling and shaking his head. He knew from the sound of the glug-glug-glug of the yellow car’s engine that when the light changed, the other cars would be humbled. Shamed even. But being shamed by the best was an honor. And this yellow car, all muscly and thick, certainly sounded like the type to shame them all. The bus couldn’t wait to see it.
If only this red light would turn green.
The hatchback and the wagon had both speculated about the yellow car’s strength to the point of legend. They disagreed on the technical details, but one thing they agreed on with enthusiastic giggling; when that light changed, minds would be blown.
If only this red light would turn green.
The yellow car, all muscly and thick, revved its engine as it had done a thousand times, sounding off his impatience as he waited for the light to turn. The rumble of the engine was deep and aggressive. It sent chills down the other cars’ frames. What a racer he would prove to be! He lurched forward a few inches in a display of eagerness, allowing the slight grade in the road to return him to his mark. The other cars couldn't wait to see it. The pick-up truck and the sedan and even the mo-ped exchanged their ideas about just how amazing the yellow car would prove to be.
If only this red light would turn green.
But, after all these years, not all the cars joined in anymore. A few of them were tired of the revving. Tired of the calculating and legends. They were tired of the speculating and childish giggling over the yellow car's potential. In their eyes, the yellow car, all muscly and thick, was no different than the other cars, no matter how loud its engine promised to the contrary. Parked cars are all the same, as they saw it. But those like the sedan and the bus and even the mo-ped, though an unvalidated fan-base, were a loyal fan-base nonetheless. The yellow car would show them. They’d see.
If only this red light would turn green.
The yellow car, all muscly and thick, had a tremendous secret. A secret no one could have guessed. Underneath his paint and his roaring and his ever thwarted potential, the yellow car loved the red light. He, a race car, dreaded green and prized red. Unknown to the other cars and in some ways even to himself, the yellow car cherished the red light for allowing him to be adored for what he might do. Yes he revved his engine, yes he roared like a racer, yes even the gloss on his perfectly inflated tires implied he’d want nothing but green.
But the thing about green lights is they reveal to everybody once and for all whether you have what they respect you for. Red lights are good for promises and possibilities. But green lights just tell the truth.
If only this red light would never turn green...
How the bus and the sedan and the pick-up and the wagon and even the mo-ped loved the yellow car, really loved him. How they insisted when that light changed, frames would tremble with chills, traffic would be humbled and minds would be blown. But in his interior the yellow car, all muscly and thick, revving impatiently and lurching forward and back, pleaded silently for the light to stay red forever.

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