Check Your Brakes

It's 9:30 on a Sunday morning in the park at the waters' edge, and it is mostly a magnet for walkers, dog-walkers, bicycle-riders, and the occasional observer with a pen and a piece of paper. It's also a place that draw the reflectors, the ones who just pull their cars up to the edge of the jetty boulders and sit and drink expensive, poorly-made coffee, and think about things, watching the waves in the harbor.

There's also the groups of twenty-somethings, the ones who weren't up drinking until 2:30 a.m. the night before, out throwing Frisbees poorly, and laughing at their own feeble attempts at athletic prowess. What it usually is not a venue for, however, is the scene that unfolds this day, the scene of two women, both in their late 30s, both driving subcompacts from across the ocean, both wearing bob haircuts and Capri pants, parked 30 feet apart, and both women talking, but at the unusual conversational distance of nearly 15 feet, standing facing each other between the two parked cars. They each stand as if the other has something contagious, and squint at each other against the glare of the morning sun.

In another place, at another time, it would look like the Shootout at the OK Corral. Which is exactly what it is, just updated for today, with the bob haircuts and the Capri pants. And neither woman has a visible six-shooter. Plus, with the Capri pants, no one is carrying an ankle piece.

"You listen to me, you fucking bitch," the woman with the auburn hair says to the woman with the blonde hair, "and if you know what's good for you, you'll listen real good. You had your fucking chance with him, and you blew it. So fuck off, and stay away from him, or I will fuck you up real good. Ya hear me?"

The blonde is apparently nonplussed at her rival's rage. "Fuck you, Karen. I had him before you, and I can get him back. Your pussy's not lined with gold, ya know."

"Yeah, well mine's not filled with rats like yours is, Teresa. I'm tellin' you now, you stay away from him. You had your shot, you lost," Karen says, "and you are not fucking up what I've got."

"We'll see who gets what, Karen. We'll see. I'm not wasting any more time on your ass, so goodbye," Teresa says, turning to go to her car. She leaves Karen standing there, still fuming, and leaves in a cloud of dust, just a tad over the speed limit.

Karen is smiling as her rival drives away, and she very slowly walks to her car, gets in, and starts it up, blasting some tunes out of the open windows. She makes no move to drive away.

Beacon Road out of the park is about the steepest road around for miles, nearly a 45-degree drop over a quarter-mile run. Moments later, the sound of Teresa's car slamming into the stand of oak trees at the bottom of the hill is enough of a reminder for those involved in love triangles to regularly have their brakes checked.

May 2, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

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