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On Fishing (According to the Listmaker) … continued …

Fuschia. “Fuck,” she whispers. “Wha … what the …” Kevin stammers. “Back up!” she commands; “Back up!” “Okay, okay,” Kevin insists as he stops the vehicle midway into a parking spot and throws it into reverse; “Which way?” “That way!” she points, pointing back in the direction from where they just came. Red. “Go!” she shouts. The vehicle jolts forward at a high speed, “Where?” “Away from here!” she loosely guides while grabbing hold of the dashboard; “There.” Kevin follows her direction and pulls back out onto the main road. She looks back over the back of her seat through the back window. Blush. “Okay, pull over here.” Kevin obeys, “What the hell was that?” The world is clear. She gives Kevin a look, and oddly enough, Kevin seems to be getting to know her in a way that she finds … intriguing. “Oh,” he states, and then he asks, “That’s the thing?” She sighs, “You’ll know soon enough.” Stiffly upright, Kevin sits with both hands still firmly clutching the wheel. After a moment he realizes that the vehicle is still in the Drive position; he commands the vehicle into off mode. Still catching his breath, Kevin looks at her. She sits serene, calm, seemingly unmoved. A moment of silence passes. And then, she quietly speaks, “Okay, go back and try to park again, slowly.” Feeling tempted to request assurance, Kevin hesitates. She feels Kevin’s mind soften but allows him the opportunity to find courage either in asking her whether or not she’s sure or in accepting her instruction blindly. Kevin mulls a bit; she is impressed. Kevin presses the vehicle on, flips a u-turn, and slowly drives back toward the place from whence they nearly escaped. “Slower,” she guides. The vehicle seems as if it’s not moving at all. “Stop,” she instructs with a coordinated lift of her left hand. The vehicle comes to a stop. “Okay, slowly,” she allows as she slowly lifts and lowers her palm-faced-down hand. Kevin maneuvers the vehicle at a crawl toward the turnoff. At the place in the road where the vehicle now needs to take a left turn, she reaches her hand out again, “Stop. Pull over.” Kevin checks for approaching traffic. An oncoming vehicle zooms past in the opposite lane. They wait for another moment or so. Clear. The road clears again as well. “Alright. Do what you need to do to pull into the lot, but be prepared to step on it to get out of here again,” she directs. “Yes. Got it,” Kevin relays. “Whenever you’re ready. Take your time,” she encourages.

Contemplative, checking everything within his immediate surroundings, Kevin examines and reexamines for an extensive amount of time. She sits patiently, quietly. Kevin’s ready and gears himself up for the task at hand. Quickly, Kevin bears down hard on the steering wheel and screeches across the oncoming lane through the entrance way into the lot, veers right and comes to a skidding stop just out of the way of potential traffic, and then Kevin pulls the wheel to the left and prepares the vehicle for a tight, semi-circle turn for a hasty exit. Fully alert with his hands still squeezing the steering wheel, Kevin is ready for further instruction. They wait. Clear. A spot at the far end of the lot, the end nearest them, free of any potential neighbor to the immediate left of any parked vehicle that may choose the stop, stands empty. They wait another full minute. Clear. “There,” she points to the open spot. Kevin turns the wheel to straighten out the vehicle. “Slowly,” she instructs. Crawling again, Kevin guides the vehicle into the open space. Once within the confines of the allotted space, Kevin commands the vehicle back into reverse. They sit and wait once more.

“Alright,” she decides; “Park it, but keep it running.” She exits the vehicle and walks around to the driver’s side. Kevin opens the door in recognition of what’s happening. “One, two, three,” she counts. And on three, Kevin throws himself from the vehicle as she quickly climbs into the driver’s seat. Clear. “This is really stressful,” Kevin admits. “This is the way that things are,” she explains. She shuts the door and hits a button. The window portion of the door disappears into the solid portion of the door. “You can do this,” she goads. Kevin’s mind softens again in need of assurances. She considers this for a moment and decides the best course of action is assurance at this point, “He’ll know.” Kevin’s demeanor strengthens, “Alright.” “Just like in practice,” she reminds. Kevin nods and looks to be working himself up for the task. “Do you have the message?” she inquires. Kevin reaches into his pocket and holds up the small roll of paper between the thumb and forefinger of his right hand in confirmation. “Good,” she smiles; “It will guide you.” Kevin nods again in a self-soothing manner. And then a question that never came up during the two’s practice sessions rises to the forefront of Kevin’s mind. She feels it, “Stay put. You will not be able to get out here fast enough. Also, he’ll know what to do if you’ve connected.” “Alright,” Kevin nods yet again with his entire torso. Kevin takes a deep breath. “You can do this. There’s nothing to it,” she consoles. Kevin slips the message back into his pocket, “See you, then.” “Yes,” she waves.

Originally published at on October 4, 2021.



“It’s the intention that drives us; it’s the unintended that defines us.”

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