in praise of the yellow line

yellowlineoh yellow line, snaking, slick, constant companion on my left, marking an invisible wall, keeping me safe. solid or dashed, double or single, it matters not: you are there, the boundary between right and wrong, between foul and fair, between onrushing burger-munching latte-sippers encased in steel at 45 mph and comparatively benign carbon and flesh at 22.7 mph.

others flout your presence, scoff at your warning, scoot up on your left, ignore your silent reproach to gain a few postions in the pack, to cut a corner, even to launch an attack.

not i! i give you as wide berth as possible, avoiding the chasm on your left, the pit of despair, the meaningless risk. when i find myself too close, even touching your battlements, i lean right into the shoulder of my competitor rather than breach your invisible wall.

just this past sunday, yellow line, i felt the rubber of my tires hit your paint, felt the swell of the pack as it drifted left, nudging me further, seductively inviting me to slide into into the oncoming lane, move around this oh-so-sketchy guy in front of me and find a safer, more strategic spot in the pack. as i wavered under the pack’s spell, i heard a rumbling noise ahead, and snapped out of it just in time to heed your warning, lean right, and feel on my face the breeze of that hurtling f-250 trailing a pleasure craft.

thank you, yellow line — for the rest of the day i steered very clear of you, not because i don’t like you, but because i respect you. and when the crash came, as crashes do, a mile from the finish, it began on the left, near you. did you see what happened? i was far away, crunching gravel up the right side.

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