Let It Go
Brenda Joyce Patterson
Mike was obsessed with lost things. Even in traffic, his eyes lit upon orphan objects--shoes, a stray sweater, the earbuds on an orange cord dropped by the bicyclist weaving between the stationary cars at the traffic light. When the traffic moved on green, he let his window down, determined to call out about the errant earbuds, bright against the gray concrete a half block behind them.
Just as Mike drew even, the man veered through the closed pharmacy’s parking lot and out of earshot. Frustration worried the edges of Mike’s attention to the now swiftly moving cars. One last glance at the cyclist’s back moving steadily out of reach; another at the receding orange beacon of the cord. He pressed the window button and it slid noiselessly closed.
Three city blocks past and still Mike stewed about the earbuds. His mind constructing scenarios around the man’s discovery that they were gone. Let it go. Let it go. Losing them won’t alter the balance of fate.
Mike blew a breath between clenched teeth. Ahead near the red light, a disheveled man, dirty blond hair a frazzled nimbus around his head, stood up from the bus stop bench and began to shamble towards the intersection. The man’s dingy khaki pants were soiled dark along the back seam.
Ah, Christ. He’s crapped himself. Mike’s eyes scanned the area for any possible companions of the man. But he was alone and Mike looked for a spot to pull off, a vague idea of giving aid circled just out of conscious thought.
The light flashed green and the press of cars behind forced him forward. This time Mike refused to look in his rearview mirror. There was nothing he could do.
About the author:
Brenda Joyce Patterson is a poet and essayist. She was a co-editor of the defunct international literary magazine, Onionhead. Her travel essay, The Kindness of Strangers, was published in Go Girl: The Black Woman's Guide to Travel and Adventure (Eighth Mountain Press, 1997). She is co-author with Suzanne Roth of the artist book, Soothsaying (2006), which is permanently housed in the Bienes Center for the Literary Arts in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. She has studied poetry under Peter Meinke, Lola Haskins and Nicholas Samaras. You can reach Brenda Joyce Patterson