She nearly pleaded with me not to be too rough

Rain beats a tattoo on the hood of the Ford Explorer. The toll collector’s Boston accent cuts through the engine sound. “And sometimes,” he screams at the collector to our right. “Sometimes, they only roll down the window part way! And they hold out the money to ya, like this!” He pinches two fingers in a dainty no-germs gesture.

I roll down the window and put the dollar squarely into his palm. He ignores me. “Fuckin’ immigrants!” he hollers into the rain.

Suddenly, the toll collector has a realization: I (the guy in the Ford Explorer) exist.

As the window of the truck mechanically closes, the guy suddenly and nervously blurts: “T’ank you.”

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