My friend drives the car with her left foot propped up against the window frame. Helps circulate the air up my shorts, she says, keeps me nice and cool in the summer heat. She had once signaled left with her foot, but the cop tailing her switched on his lights and issued her a ticket for improper signal in an unladylike position. It’s all in the form, she told him, stretching her long, lean beauty queen leg out the window and snatching the ticket with her toes.
She sees me walking back from the beach with my bike and pulls over just past the bridge. A fluttering at the top of her right turn signal catches my attention. Finding it physically impossible to contort her leg into the 90 degree angle necessary to initiate a proper manual right has kept her busy exploring optional ways to self-express rather than admit self-defeat. She’d taken to holding different items in her point toward heaven—pinwheels, feathers, cheerleader pompoms—to name a few. I’d once spotted her ringing a cow bell.
I push my ten-speed up alongside the car. She waves a small dime-store July 4th flag in greeting. Her left foot rests squarely in place, forming a window within a window. The driver side mirror reflects back a dirty sole. “Qué pasa, girly?” she asks, planting the flag securely between the big toe and the long toe, a smidge longer than its companion. Makes for a better grip, she’s mentioned more than once. She wriggles the flag between her chipped pedicure as easily as rubbing two sticks together to light a fire. “Got a flat?”
I shake my head no. “The wind’s beating the crap out of me. It’s like riding against a brick wall. I gave up and started walking a mile back.”
“Throw it in the back, I’ll give you a ride.” She tosses me the keys. “While you’re at it, grab the sparklers in the trunk. I’m perfecting a new right turn signal, but lighting while driving ain’t cutting it.”
“I gotta be home by 5.” I open the sparklers, knowing she’s not ready to admit she needs a second pair of hands. I grab a lighter from the glove box and check over my shoulder for oncoming traffic. “You’re good to go,” I say. She signals left in full extension, the flag waving wildly between her toes.
Sheree Shatsky writes short fiction believing much can be conveyed with a few simple words. She was selected by the AWP Writer to Writer Mentorship Program as a Spring 2018 mentee for flash fiction. Her most recent work has appeared in the biannual issue of The Shallows/Cold Creek Review with work forthcoming in KYSO Flash. Read more of Ms. Shatsky’s work along with her adventures with Wild Words at http://www.shereeshatsky.com