Tired and groggy, you’re driving home late at night, whipping down the side streets and back paths to get home a bit faster, your eyelids drooping, your body achy and sore. Occasionally, there are headlights in the opposite direction, blurry, whiz-by streaks of bright white — shift workers, truck drivers, and party animals all owning the lonely roads, trying to get somewhere quick.
Then suddenly an approaching car flashes their high beams at you. Blinded, you sit up, awake and alert, checking all your mirrors, slowing the car down. What’s going on, you think, until a few seconds later you pass a cop car with its lights off, sitting on the side of the road waiting to catch a speeder, a patient and silent predator waiting for its prey.
“Thank you,” you whisper under your breath, as you drive by under the speed limit. “Thank you, thank you, thank you.”
* * *
Isn’t it also great that the flasher going the opposite direction really can’t ever get the favor returned? I mean, you don’t know him or her, him or her don’t know you. They just sort of threw the favor out there, a warm passing smile on a dark drive home, with no payback required or expected. No, you might never see each other again, but it’s just The Late-Night Driver’s Pact, a rebellious fight-the-police stance that helps everyone out in the pocketbook a bit.
So you smile as you drive on, and when you see another car heading the opposite direction, you know what to do.
Flash them high beams, sister. Flash them bright and light up the night.
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