Twenty-two Miles

Five minutes later and he would have missed her. Traffic had been heavy – unusually heavy for the time of day. It almost seemed like there was a conspiracy taking place and Murphy’s Law was in full force working against him.

He’d planned everything so perfectly, or so he thought. Arranged for his assistant to cover everything that needed to get done. He’d included an extra half hour to the already exorbitant amount of time allocated for the trip, just in case there was more than normal traffic. Yet even with all of his plans and preparations the extraordinary amount of traffic almost caused a disaster.

There were a couple of things that Bryce Hanford hated more than any other and traffic was one of them.

Actually Bryce hated cars and the need for them. He considered a car a necessary evil to be endured only when foot power was impossible. The problem with that concept was that, aside from in Manhattan, he’d never found it possible to simply walk wherever he needed to go.

Today was no exception. Today’s destination was twenty-two miles from his starting point – not walking distance even for Bryce.

But why was it that every time he had to take the George Washington Bridge the West Side Highway was bumper to bumper traffic at a standstill? And even getting off and using the parallel streets yielded no faster results.

How he was there. The car was parked and he’d run the two hundred yards from the parking lot in record time. All was in readiness, his ticket in hand he was led to his seat and looked at his watch – five minutes to go.

He tried to calm himself, took deep breaths and closed his eyes. Nothing seemed to be working. His agitation level, accumulated during the entire day of preparations and exacerbated by his trip, was greater than a mere relaxation technique could overcome.

The lights dimmed, indicating that things were about to begin.

Bryce opened his eyes and leaned back awaiting the event that made everything he’d been through worth it. He settled himself in what he thought was a comfortable auditorium seat.

Reality, however, overcame the fantasy as he realized that the comfortable seat was actually his pillow and what had awakened him was not his dog winning best in show, but rather her licking his face to wake him up and take her out for a walk.

At least, he thought, as he got up and threw on some clothes, walking her won’t involve a car.

The End


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