Jack Davis drove the same mindless route to work he did every day for the past nine years. Over this time, he managed to get his journey into work into a workable, and safe, routine. This routine usually served him well, but when something was amiss, stress and anger would build up. He would yell, pound his dashboard, and even give rude hand gestures.
This day, was the last type.
Jack was on the two-lane road, following the other work lemmings. He knew that in a half mile, the two-lane road would fork and divide the traffic. Jack also knew that the right lane rarely had slow traffic, and his lane seemed to slow to a crawl for several hundred feet. This crawl would speed up to a more respectable level once the cement barrier came into view.
This was the problem as far as Jack was concerned.
Other drivers would dart to the right lane, speed up, and cut back into the left lane. This dangerous gambit caused the slow down at the cost of someone gaining four, maybe five, car lengths. The only people that were worse were the motor cyclists, who would dart along the side of the slow moving traffic. On more than one occasion, a finder-bender happened, and this stopped traffic out right.
Jack, already gripping his steering wheel in a death grip, was on the verge of shouting. His doctor had recommended he calm down and find other ways to keep stress at bay. Jack managed to accomplish this in his life with everything that irked him, except for driving to and from work.
“Calm down Jack. They do this all the time.” Jack took a deep breath and let it out. He reached for the stress ball that rested in the passenger seat. A few quick squeezes and he tossed it back onto the seat.
“That doesn’t work,” Jack growled, staring at the next car to pass him in the right light with a left turn blinker flashing.
“What needs to happen is the barrier needs to start back there.” He tossed a thumb over his shoulder.
“I wonder…” Jack leaned over and peered up the column of cars, watching as the latest near-do-well squeezed into traffic, causing red taillights to blare.
“Just don’t get caught.” Jack eyeballed the cement barrier and breathed out. His breathing slowed and got deeper.
In his mind, Jack built a wall the same thickness, height and color of the cement barrier. He added a section, then another. Soon, the wall in his mind extended five cars past his current location. As the last wall solidified in his mind, he smiled.
“Excellent! Let’s see if I still got it.” Jack’s eyes twinkled as he spotted a car, well behind him, zip over to the right lane and pick up speed.
The speeding car dashed past Jack and turned on its blinker.
Jack was still doing his deep breathing and focused on the wall in his mind.
The car edged over, into the left lane. When its left front corner bent, breaking the light and peeling paint, Jack laughed.
“Yes! I still have it.”
The driver in the car swerved over into the right lane and continued. He made another attempt, this time at a faster pace. This was because he was approaching the cement barrier and would not be able to get over in time.
The crunching sound reached Jack’s ears, and he shook his head. The car now had the left front quarter panel mangled, the hood bent at an odd angle, and the tire elevated a few inches in the air.
“That is not going to be a good day for you.” Jack waved as he passed the now walking driver.
Jack watched as the driver examined his car and then looked around for what caused the damage to the car. When the driver approached the wall that Jack had constructed, his hand swung through nothing.
“Whew! Just in time on that one.” A hearty guffaw escaped from Jack as he picked up speed.
“I wonder what would happen if I keep that up? Maybe people will stop.”
Jack accelerated more and turned his blinker on for the merge he needed.