There’s nothing like the sound of construction, cursing and car horns in the morning. While trucks sat double parked and pedestrians frantically crossed from store front to store front, it was the fender bender up ahead that left my grey Nissan idling on this narrow Barcelona road; Oh, what a luxury to live in the city!
I let out a sigh as I checked my watch; 8:13, I’ve still got time. I was headed to the University for my tenure appointment with the Dean of Philosophy and my nerves were bouncing like a pack of pop rocks in a toddler’s cheeks. While anxious thoughts made me uncomfortable, it was the heat that was unbearable. I could’ve been mistaken for a mutt the way my head hung from the window in search of fresh air. My eyes roamed the cloudless skies in which the sun sat, its rays reflecting off of the tall, pastel buildings that surrounded us, hoping to fry us like ants on pavement. I found bliss in the beads of sweat that streaked from my hairline down my face, granting me sweet release one drop at a time before disappearing into a wooly beard. My relief was short lived as the frustration of car horns re-emerged, gradually agonizing me like a migraine in the middle of a kindergarten graduation. I sat up straight and glared into the rearview mirror, What do you want me to do?
Dozens of tires inched up the road, the melting rubber creaked like an old wooden floor as it worked to pry itself from the sizzling pavement. While my foot played tug-of-war with the break pedal, I could hear my messenger bag shuffle in the back seat and send something to the ground with a thud. I glanced back and it was as if I had seen Heaven on Earth in the form of a bottle of FIJI. I nearly threw my arm out of socket lunging after it, biting my bottom lip and stretching as far as I could. My mouth watered as my fingertips scraped alongside the icy side of the plastic container, trying to get a hold —
BANG! My foot slammed down on the brake, flinging me forward into the steering wheel. I looked up in a daze before locking in on a group of kids running across the street with a fùtbol and no care in the world. One of the boys caught my eye and led the others off quickly in case I wanted to start a fuss. I didn’t. Actually, I was finding it difficult to swallow any water because I couldn’t stop laughing. They looked all too familiar; when I was their age, my rag-tag bunch only came to the city to try to sneak in the stadium and see a match. We would imitate the moves we had seen so much the next day that Mrs. Langley prayed for dismissal to come sooner. We shared in her eagerness, because after our final prayer, we were off to the old abandoned lots outside of the city. We would play for hours; kicking, running and laughing as we fought to score a goal or “hit the bricks,” usually looking for an advantage by holding onto each other’s shirts. Shirts that were usually tattered and falling off to begin with. Man, we’ve come a long way from there —
A ringing cell phone brought me back to the present.
“Samuel, Hey, it’s Dean Calvet. Are you on your way to campus?
I sat up in my seat as if I could be seen. “Hey Dean, yes, I’m just caught up in some traffic.”
“Oh no worries, something came up but I’ll swing by your office when I get back on campus.”
An awkward silence ensued. Sensing that I was unsure how to react, Dean Calvet continued assuringly. “I just wanted to make sure I got a chance to see you today, I’ve got some good news.”
My heart nearly dropped, I broke out in celebration while trying to remain vocally composed. “Wonderful. Yes, I will be on campus within the hour. I’ll see you soon.”
My thoughts began to race and horns followed them. I looked up to see that things had begun to clear up ahead, waving my hand out of the window in acknowledgment, I eased my foot onto the gas. Enjoy The Moment and Keep Moving Forward.
EM Evans is a writer, filmmaker and public speaker. Follow him on Instagram @iam_eronmevans