So it's almost over.
One day, when I had chosen the squiggly road option in lieu of the long-wait-in-the-dust state route, my heart fell (Here too???) as I rounded a curve and came on a ROAD WORK AHEAD sign, the feet of its spindly-looking metal standard held in place by dead woodchucks. They're sandbags, but they look like the corpses of expired large rodents. I drove a third of a mile and saw no ROAD WORK. Maybe it was a sign left up from the previous day?
But no . . . another curve and there was the young man standing in the road with his handheld pole with the sign at the top that says STOP on one side and SLOW on the other, and he was holding the STOP side in my direction, with a couple of cars already halted and obediently waiting.
On such a curvy road you can't see the reason for your wait and it seems pointless and neverending, but it was a pretty morning and I didn't want to ruin it by allowing myself to get frustrated. I looked around to notice things I might not have seen had I been traveling at the breathtaking speed of thirty miles per hour. Green fields that stretched up over the hill, a home that used to be a farm . . . I could still see where the cows had been pastured. There is a certain look that cow pastures have: bumpy, and growing not-quite-grass, with the odd mostly-buried rock poking up through the green, impressions of the cows' paths still meandering across and up over, however many years since no cow's hoof has touched them. I watched the man with the sign, too, and thought about what a drag it must be to stand all day, holding a sign, knowing that people are mad at you just because you are there, impeding their progress. He was a stocky young man, and tall, with a chubby face. The guy who holds the sign, I suspect, ranks near the bottom of the road crew hierarchy. Poor slob. He must have people being surly with him all day long.
While I mused, several more drivers accumulated behind me.
The young man held his big boxy radio close to his head for a moment, and then began to walk toward the first car in line, stopped and said a few words to the driver, nodded his head, moved on the second, said a few words, came to me. As he came close, I said, "How y'doin'?"
"Good," he said, "How're you?" and gave me some words of explanation that I don't recall. Before he passed on to the vehicle behind me, I said, "Lemme ask you somethin'."
"How long did it take you to put all that duct tape on your shirt?"
I was pleased to see that he was nonplussed for a moment. He looked down and chuckled heartily, stepping away to the driver behind me.
Made me happy to have given the guy an amusing moment in a long day of standing in the sun, holding a sign, looking at people who wished he weren't there.