Jack C. Buck


All-Star Game


A car cuts me off proceeding to drive 20 mph under the speed limit. For a second I think about half-directing a fuck you but stop short. That’s the old me talking. I can do better. Life is large and long and just the right amount if we’re lucky enough. This line of thinking is the modern me. I switch on the radio and leave it on static with no singing or tune. I am transported into mid-day meditation from the low static hum. Another car passes and cuts me off, going again 20 under the speed limit. No big deal I mutter, drive 15 in a 35, see if I care. A minute later, another car passes and cuts me off, causing me to slam on my brakes, this causes the teenager driving behind to shake his fist. Ha, not going to sweat it. Couldn’t be older than 16, I remember being 16. Another car out of nowhere swerves in front of me while the driver is seen joyfully eating handfuls of french fries from a drive-thru bag. This scene of me driving while getting cut off goes on like this over and over on repeat. It seems planned but the timing intervals are random. 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 55 seconds, 15 seconds, 1 minute 45 seconds. The procession of the day to and from has us make left turns and right turns. Forward, left, forward, right, forward, another left, onward. After some time, we merge onto a highway, then exit off the highway to turn left. A yellow light. The car in front of me keeps on going wherever they are going. I stop. Red light. It’s now been 6 minutes idling at this red light that I am not so sure will ever change over. To add, somehow the van that was just directly behind me has maneuvered its way in front of me in the turning lane, adding an additional 6 minutes idling at this red light that I am even more not so sure will ever change over.  Every day life happenings, a greater cosmic test. No need to take psychedelics, it’s all natural just living life, connecting cause and effect, fine detail observation. The variables of life in the order of channeling daily occurrences expanded out from near to far. Even on display here full-force at an intersection one of a million. Somewhere in that timeframe, the light turns green, but not before just when the traffic light fixture snaps falling with gravity to smash into pieces in the middle of the road. Cars are laying on their horns from every direction. I turn the radio dial to a station. It’s a good song. I sing along in and out of tune. More cars inch closer and closer, angling their tires this way and that way, then going for it smashing into one another metal on metal. The cars are piling up in a giant titanic heap of pressure and angst. Cars keep passing and swerving in front of me oblivious to the wreckage. The sun is out, I roll down the window. I sing a little louder, I don’t care who hears me. Looks like I’m going to be here awhile. Nowadays I pass three tests for every failed one, it’s my personal life’s greatest season.




Jack C. Buck is the author of the books Deer Michigan and Gathering View. He lives in Idaho.