Prompt Images

It was a beautiful Sarasota morning as we began our family vacation. Golf, lounging by the pool, and glorious Gulf of Mexico sunsets were on the docket.

I had not found time, pre-trip, to get a much needed haircut and so took the opportunity to sneak out of a slowly-waking household to trek the short half mile to a chain barbershop.

The walk was cool in the shade, radiantly hot in the sun. I had to cross a busy, five-lane state road and waited patiently for the light to turn my way. A younger, less patient version of myself would have dashed across the street once traffic permitted, red light be damned. A bad heel and a laid-back vacation attitude conspired to allow me to wait my turn.

My green light was accompanied with a generous, 45-second, countdown clock. Still, I walked with purpose and verve. I suspected that pedestrianism here was a rare bird, and I wasn’t comfortable playing chicken with a two-ton SUV piloted by an inattentive senior citizen.

I was three quarters across when the driver of a red Corvette, itching to make a right into the crosswalk that would as a result cut me off, paused with heavy reluctance.

We made eye contact and he employed his horn, at considerable length.

Apparently, he struggled with the concept of yielding to pedestrians. I was the cause of his angst so I chose to communicate. Verbal communication was not possible so I spread my arms out and coupled it to a quizzical look on my face as if to suggest I understand you’re impatient, I’ll be out of your life in about five seconds…chill, man, okay?

In return, I received the full force of his middle finger. The “fuck you” message was succinct but clear: He hated me. I had impacted his day. His time was more valuable than mine. It never occurred to him to choose a bit of tolerance, a bit of civility. Humans… gotta love ‘em… ‘cuz you shouldn’t kill ‘em.

Dan Farkas

Dr. Daniel H. Farkas is a molecular pathologist who has published extensively and spoken on the topic internationally. Dan Farkas, on the other hand, is an itinerant New Yorker currently exiled in Cleveland. His joys in life come from creative writing, photography, Elton John, Steely Dan, his wife and kids, and sometimes the NY Rangers.

learn more
Share this story
About The Prompt
A sweet, sweet collective of writers, artists, podcasters, and other creatives. Sound like fun?
Learn more