Pitbull says he’s too Latin for hip hop and too hip hop for Latins, and I feel dat. I’m too Maine for RI and too RI for Maine.
I’ve lived in Rhode Island for the past four years and I still feel like some trick ass tourist. I’ve been trying to change that; I’ve been trying to become part of the community. And, thanks to red light chitterchat, I’m doing a damn fine jarb.
Whenever I’m driving on a two-lane road (or is it a four-lane road if there are two lanes on either side?), and I’m stopped at a red light, and my window is down and so is the driver’s next to me, I try to make conversation.
My first attempt was with a USPS mail lady about a week ago. I’d found a set of official looking keys earlier in the day, and I wanted to ask if they were hers. I didn’t pick them up or anything, but I figured my description — “silver and very fancy” — would be all she needed.
Sadly, I never got to tell her. We had two red lights together, and she never even looked my way.
The next day I was driving home from work at 9:00 p.m. or so. There weren’t many people on the road, so when I saw a sweet old school buggy, I sped up right next to it to get the conversation started. Since the steering wheel was on the weirdo side (the right) I planned out something real clever to say to the driver. Like, “Hey! Your steering wheel’s effed up, buddy,” or whateva.
Again, my chat attempt failed; green lights all the way home.
Then, last Sunday, it finally happened. A driver man chatted with me on the road! Actually, he kind of sassed me on the road, BUT STILL!
When I pulled out of the grocery store parking lot on Sunday afternoon (after buying a 24-inch sub for $7.99 — did you know that existed?), a flashing cop car ripped by me right away. Behind him were a couple of motorcyclists. At first I thought “Whoa doggy! Them fools should back up off that cop.” Then I saw about a million motorcycles behind the first few, realized it was a convoy, and thought “Whoa doggy! I do not know what to do.”
I had already pulled into the breakdown lane for the cop, but once he passed I didn’t know if I could go back into the right lane. The convoy was totally in the left lane, and it wasn’t like they was in a rush or nothing. Still, I decided to stay in the breakdown lane and continue moseying along.
I drove for five minutes before the car behind me took a turn down another road. I kept on driving and the motorcycles kept on coming. I felt very unsure of what I was doing, but I had my window down and Pitbull pumping so I was doing alright. Then a man on a motorcycle yelled at me through the window and I no longer felt so alright.
Man: MOVE BITCH, GET OUT DA WAY!
Man: Stop your vehicle! YOU MUST STOP!
Me: Yes, of course, of course! By the way, how are you? What’s this convoy for? Do you like motorcycles? What make is that? Harley, is it? Cool. I call it “H-Dizzle.” Nice helmet, does it hurt to wear? Do you have a strong core? Do you have a strong heart? Do you like roast beef sandwiches? I got a couple of feet of sub I could share with you!
I don’t think he heard my questions, cause he kept on driving and all, but I still felt real good about having engaged in red light chat. So good that it almost overshadowed how bad I felt about being an idiot driver! So good that, after the convoy had passed, I tried to talk to the car that pulled up beside me at the next red light.