I’m stuck in a traffic jam. For as far as I can see in front of me there are cars and trucks banked up bumper to bumper; and the view in my rear and side view mirrors are the same. I’m stuck, literally. Can’t move forwards or backwards or even to the side. When I do move forward it just a tease, only a metre or so; then I come to a stop again.
My fingers are tapping impatiently on the steering wheel to a song that I’ve never heard before; tap, tap, tap. I look up. A friend told me that I need to look up at the sky more often; to see and feel the beauty and calm that that moment brings. The sky is filled with grey, grey and more grey, 50 Shades even?! Grey clouds for as far as they eye can see. Some are very dark with the threat of rain and storms; while others are light and fading into the horizon.
I glance over to the car on my left. It’s an old red commodore from the 80″s or 90’s. It sounds like it has a hole in the muffler, but I suppose that’s how the rev heads like their cars to sound. There is an Elvis doll sitting on the dash. One of those that dances when the car is moving, now it is still while we wait. There is a young chap, in his mid 20’s, I would think in the drivers seat, looking at his phone. I wonder what it is on his screen that has captured his attention. Facebook or Snap Chat or something else. What do men in their 20’s look at on social media? Perhaps he is looking at photos of his girlfriend; after all he does have a smirk on his face.
The car next to me on the right is your typical family SUV. Dad is in the drivers seat and is staring out his window at I dont know what, deep in thought with a frown of disapproval etched into his brow. It looks like he is ignoring his wife. She is staring out the passenger side window, displaying the obvious body language of giving him the cold shoulder. I wonder if they have had an argument? I wonder what it was about. I wonder if they will kiss and make up when they crawl into bed tonight. In the back seat there is a cute little bubba in his capsule, fast asleep and oblivious to it all. Squished against the window is the cutest little face staring back at me. I think she would be around 3 or 4, cute blonde curls and blue eyes with what looks to be Vegemite smeared on her face. She has been licking the window and is now using her little fingers to draw circles in her spit. Just delightful. I give her a smile and a little wave and she pokes her tongue out at me, not so cute and innocent after all!
The car in front of me is a pink mini, with “P” plates. Pretty awesome car for a chick! There are 4 young “ladies” in the car, I’m guessing late teens, school leaver age, round 18. All with high pony tails or messy buns and off the shoulder tops. There is a Katy Perry song blaring and I can see heads bopping and arms flaying to the beat of the music. Staring at me through the back window is a huge German Sheppard (or Alsatian), I never know how to tell the difference. He literally takes up the whole area of the boot hatch, with slobber all over the window and eyes that are pleading with me to save him from Katy Perry and the singing/dancing girls!
In the car behind me are a dear old couple, most likely in their 80’s. He has his Sunday Suit on, a lovely grey colour to match his thinning comb over hair colour and style. He has a moustache of the same grey colour which is neatly trimmed and is wearing a lilac shirt and a navy blue tie. He looks very dapper. His wife is also dressed to the nines. A lovely floral what I assume to be a dress, with a pink cardi covering her arms. Around her neck hang 3 strands of shiny pearls. They are chatting animatedly, with the wife using her hands as she talks, much like I do. I watch them for a while in wonder, what their life has been like. They look so happy and carefree and I catch them glancing lovingly at each other, my heart melts. It reminds me of my Nanna and Poppa, in photo below.
Further back, in my side mirror I can see a Harley Davidson. It’s sitting on the white line between the lanes, contemplating whether to scoot through the traffic or not. I can hear the low rumble of the bike over my music and Katy Perry blaring from in front of me. The driver is clearly impatient, he is revving the engine and slowly starts to walk his bike through the cars. I can’t see his face from his black helmet, and his visor is down. He’s only wearing a black tee and jeans with white street sneakers. He reminds me of Jax from Son’s of Anarchy and I hope he doesn’t get caught in the rain.
As I sit here in this traffic jam, I’m comparing it to the days, months, year or so after mum died. During these times I often felt I was stuck, or stopped, not able to move forward or back. Then the grief lifted slightly and I was able to inch forward, get my bearings and stop again. I felt the frustration from being stuck, like in a traffic jam. Frustrated because I didn’t know what was ahead of me that was blocking my road. Frustrated because it wasn’t clearing quick enough to allow me to get where I needed to go. I knew where I wanted to go, where I needed to be; but it was just a slow, painful journey. Those days were dark too, like the darkness in the clouds. The people in the cars around me, I relate to as well. They are my friends and family around me during this time; that I was looking out to, they were stuck as well and dealing with their own stuff; or on the flip side, they didn’t have a worry at all.
The young man makes me wonder how my boys will be at that age; and the young “ladies” in the car in front of me remind me of my teenage years. The family next to me make me appreciate the relationship I have with my husband; and the elderly couple in the car behind is what I aspire to be in my later years. And the biker; he reminds me that there is always a way through a traffic jam. You don’t have to sit there and wait for it to clear; you can push through it; weave your way through the obstacles and come through the other side. You just need to be brave enough to get on the bike.