Osmond is a surf town, but the sun is a cruel flirt.  She rarely bares her face.

Fog often wreaths the day in gray parentheses, leaving a narrow early afternoon oasis in which to perform any number of sunborne tasks and recreations: the furtive tan, the car wash, the picnic tryst.  It necessitates windshield wipers, which makes the Osmondites feel faintly ashamed, even foolish.  Here they might be in the pit of summer, some historically hot month, the rest of the nation is blistering under the scorching grip of God, and they have their windshield wipers on.

Even on the lowest setting, it’s damning.

On the second, it’s absurd.

But if they refuse the wipers, stigma or no, visibility gradually obscures.  Whether something should or shouldn’t be can’t amend that it still is.

Some drivers are too prideful.  They let their windshield mist up past the point of no return.  “The sun will come out, and then I’ll look like an idiot.”

They get in crashes out of hubris.

It is a night like this as a girl prepares for her first formal.  If she could be distracted to look out her window, and she cannot be distracted, she would see conspicuously wet streets, but no observable rainfall.  That is the quality of malevolence she is up against.

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