By Alexander White
Keith had been Christmas shopping for his two kids at the mall all day and was worn thin. The venture had taken its toll, and when he started driving home in his blue minivan he was not in a good mood. The path home took him along a sweeping empty country road.
Looking in his rearview mirror, he saw another middle-aged man driving a minivan down the narrow road accelerate to pass him to his left, and then immediately slow down to take the next right. Keith slammed on the breaks and a few presents in the front seat spilled onto the floor. Words he’d rarely used since college spewed from his mouth and he flipped off the man in the minivan. The man stuck his hand out the sun-roof and proudly displayed his longest finger in response.
Keith gripped the steering wheel ‘till his knuckles turned white and he turned right, boiling with rage, following the man even though it wasn’t the direction he needed to go. The two minivans’ engines strained painfully as both drivers had their feet to the floor. Keith pulled up to the left of the other man’s car and yelled obscenities, glaring in between breaths. The other man did the same and they ate road and rubber together. They were taking up both lanes of the road and approaching dangerous speeds in their twin clunkers.
Keith’s opponent rolled down his window and continued spurting spittle and curse words. Keith did likewise and picked up a football he’d bought for his son and chucked it. Out the window went the football and the last of Keith’s inhibitions. The football was caught by the wind and bounced harmlessly off the backseat window.
However, the act crossed a line and they both knew it. The other man had apparently been holiday shopping as well, because he reached into the back seat and pulled out a wooden baseball bat wrapped in plastic. He poised to throw, and hurled it at Keith, but Keith ducked and the bat sailed past him, breaking the passenger window.
Keith’s logic was delightfully quiescent. Keith was no longer Keith. He was frustration, he was dissatisfaction. Keith was a little god burning a blazing trail of insanity across the American road in a blue minivan.
Keith had gained a slight edge on the other man and pulled in front of him, cutting him off, but the man shifted into the left lane and strained to catch up to Keith. In the distance a car driving in the opposite direction was approaching. The two minivans continued speeding unperturbed as the car grew larger and larger on the horizon.
The car was just a few hundred meters away and approaching fast when Keith’s fiendish rival slowed and pulled behind him, returning to reality and the speed limit. He pulled over, made a u-turn and drove away, conceding defeat.
Keith, however, showed no signs of stopping and retained his neurotic audacity, charging onward like a raging bull into the fading horizon.