The water main out front is busted again. Orange machines and people in orange vests and hardhats converge on the street. I am on my way to a meeting. I start the car and Jimmy Eat World drowns out the machines behind me. I backup, park, close the gate, get back in the car, reverse to the edge of the driveway and then input my mileage on the phone. An email comes up. I open it, read it and reply. I go back to the mileage. 6359…KNOCK-KNOCK suddenly a small black woman with an orange vest and matching hardhat is standing at my window. She says something that sounds like an order to move. I shut off JEW, roll down the window and give her a stern look, “Excuse me?” 

“Are you going to back up?” She owns stern. 

“Eventually. I’m doing something. Why?” 

“Because we’ve got traffic stopped in both directions – waiting for you.” Her look becomes sarcastically inquisitive.  

I turn red. 

“I’m so sorry, this is what I do every time I back up. Right to the edge of the street to assess, buckle…I didn’t see you. Wow. Sorry.” 

She grins. She gets it. 

I put the car in reverse and back into the street. A couple of other orange-vests clap. The little woman is smiling now. An man in a minivan shakes his head in disgust as I drive past. 

Brand is Still King
My Super Bowl Prediction

Jim Mitchem

Writer. Father to daughters. Husband. Ad man. Raised by wolves. @jmitchem on twitter. First novel, Minor King, out now.