At The Red Light


I follow the bold curves of the car with my eyes.

I inhale as the shine makes me squint.


Liquid mercury…

I trace the circle and three lines of her hood ornament from behind my spotty window when a bauble on her finger catches my eye.  Her hands look happy.  Her not-too-long manicured nails gleam as she raps them on the steering wheel.

Skin smooth…

Lips glossy…

Not overdone…


I glance down at my slightly wrinkled shirt and scratch at a crusty spot.  Must be dried mashed banana, or perhaps baby cereal from the day before.  My shoulders feel heavy from exhaustion.  Did I wear this shirt yesterday?

Can she feel me side-eyeing her, trying to be inconspicuous?

Can she feel my eyes on her flawless face not much older than mine?

As I breathe, does she sense my attempt to inhale her life?

The sounds of Itsy Bitsy Spider and baby squeals from the backseat start to crescendo into full volume as I realize my time at this red light will soon be over.  I shift uncomfortably in my driver’s seat.  I adjust the slight bulge of belly sitting above my lap belt and accidently crunch a Cheerio near the brake pedal.

I allow myself to steal one last look at her – the woman who lives in a world that I’m certain in a parallel universe belongs to me.

My eyes dance around her bauble as I again finger the crust on my shirt.

I linger for a moment on her French-tipped pinky…

The pinky that in this strange moment finds it’s way into her right nostril.

My jaw slowly lowers as she inspects her extraction, flicks it out her window, and with a toss of her hair, zooms away.

A honk pulls me from my reverie, and as the Itsy Bitsy Spider climbs up the spout again, I drive home…


To the sound of backseat raspberries…

And feeling slightly giddy.



PS – This post was originally written at Studio30Plus.  I just wanted to share it with you here too.

7 responses to “At The Red Light”

  1. Heh. Boogers are universal.

  2. Venus says:

    Oh man, I was waiting for her to munch on that booger!! Ah well.

    Also, the belly flap over the seatbelt? Mom’s Badge of Honor. At least, that’s what I call it when I’m not feeling all crazy about my body image… otherwise it’s the Pouch of Sadness.

  3. Cindy says:

    Now there is some perspective 🙂

  4. Alexandra says:


    The great equalizer.


  5. Dazed and Creative says, “Awesome, you caught her picking her nose bacon! haha”

    To read more of what Dazed and Creative says here:

  6. Debi (@Truthfulmommy) says:

    Jenni, You are beautiful & amazing in ways that the hottie with the nails cannot even imagine.You are further evolved.
    That being said, we all miss being that person.I swear , in retrospect, I may have been one of the most vain & selfish people ( before I had kids).I loved shopping, traveling, driving fast,going out til wee hours of the night, doing what I wanted to do.I miss that about me but then I look at my girls and I know it’s worth it BUT I’ve had a serious itch to find my way back in that direction. I need a happy medium where everyone , including me, feels content about themselves 🙂

    Take a spa day?

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