Today I do not have work.
Youngest gets to skip out on her before-care program when I do not have to go to the office. We read books and play around a little and then go out to run (bike?) a few errands on the way in to school. Since the weather has returned to California Fine As Our Red Wine we take my converted mountain bike - it's got an extension made by Extracycle and a custom made (all hail Contraption Captain) seat on the back with "footies" for Youngest's feet.
We get cucumber sushi for Older Kid and chocolate chips and ingredients for cheesecake. Then we pedal off towards school. I turn onto a relatively quiet road and then move over to the left side as I will need to take a left at the 4-way Stop at the bottom of the road.
I am considering my approach to the 4-way (good bicyclists are always thinking and planning especially when they are carrying someone behind them) when I hear the sound of a car alarm. It is loud, insistent, and it seems to be getting closer.
I get to the 4-way and stop. A car crosses in front of me. The sound of the car alarm is now incredibly loud and insistent. Youngest stares. A minivan arrives at the intersection, it's alarm is sounding non-stop and all of it's lights are flashing. It is behind a car that is waiting for me to go. I have time to notice the expression on the face of the driver in front of the noisy minivan. Her expression is pained. She looks away from me. When you are near someone who is naked, covered in paint, running in circles screaming and waving their arms in the air, which is what this minivan is doing, the polite thing is to avert your gaze.
I am not eager to cross in front of the car whose secret Indian Name is Vom-A-Lot even when I have another car to buffer me. But I must. I signal wanly and then start out into the road.
Vom-A-Lot is tired of waiting so it cut's out of line and around Embarrassed Car and I am briefly terrified that I will die to the sound of the hideous racket. I halt. Go first Vom-A-Lot. For all that is holy, please the fuck go first. Vom-A-Lot's driver gives me the evil look of someone who has been driving a vehicle that punctures eardrums and then she gestures (rudely) that she won't kill me if I want to continue on my way.
I (nervously) continue on my way and she continues on hers. The deafening sound of her travelling car alarm slowly recedes into the distance.