An Audience of None

At stoplights, I like to look around at the other cars around me and see what the other drivers are doing. Usually they're just sitting and staring at the light, and these days it's pretty common to see them texting. Once in a while I'll see some guy picking his nose or some woman fixing her makeup. But my absolute favorite is when I see someone singing.

I've always been a car singer. When I was little, in the back seat of my mom's car, the chest strap of my seat belt would become a guitar and I would rock out to her Billy Ocean tape. Nowadays, I might sing to Jason about taking him on a magic carpet ride during our drive to pre-school. Sometimes I sing to my steering wheel about being a pair of underwater pearls or imploring it to bring it's sweet loving on home to me. Sometimes I sing softly, sometimes I get carried away. I have, on occasion, drawn smirks from other drivers.

But, you know, even though I look every day, I rarely see anyone else singing, or even so much as bopping their heads or drumming a finger on the steering wheel. Every once in a while, though, I'll look over and see someone, head thrown back, shoulders bouncing, belting one out with abandon. And on the best days, they happen to notice me noticing them while we both sing, and we share a little smile. Neither of us knows what tune is on the other's stereo, but there's still a recognition, a tiny bond. It only lasts a second or two before it's time to move again, but while it lasts it's wonderful.



There was one time, maybe ten years ago, and I was driving behind someone on the freeway, and from the rhythm of their movements I became convinced they were singing along to the same song that I was. I felt a tingle. The other person happened to be an attractive woman and I became convinced it would be good for me to make SURE she noticed too. I followed too closely and I got WAY into my performance. I think she finally noticed, and found it creepy, judging from the number and frequency of subsequent lane changes.

I never did get a phone number from freeway stalking.