I admit, I’ve broken the law, plenty of
times. I’ve pocketed Jelly Bellies from those clear plastic
containers at the grocery store and snuck into R-rated
movies when I was clearly underage. But those were things of
the past, back when I was still six and wobbling and when I
didn’t reach the momentous age of seventeen.
However, quite recently, I’ve had a
not-so-subtle brush with the law. There were witnesses, in
fact, hundreds of witnesses who can testify to my
misdemeanor. But no one has reported me, not yet anyway.
A few weeks back, I was driving home from
downtown, alone. It was five in the afternoon on a weekday,
when highway 59 became an immobile heap of cars all the way
from Lousiana to Williams Trace. Just as I was about to
enter the highway, I realized I was on the HOV lane, the
lane that was going to be sectioned off with huge gray
boulders and was well, invitingly empty.
I swear I didn’t do it on purpose. I
frantically attempted to change lanes but received several
loud blares from the cars beside me. So you see, I had no
choice; I approached the ramps and zoomed away.
The lane was elevated from the regular
highway, so I could see everyone else snaking along. I felt
a stab of guilt then, knowing that I was going at 60mph
while others were at 15. But as the guilt wore off with the
wind through my windows, I felt secretly pleased. I’ve
bypassed just about an hour of traffic, and God knows how
I’m supposed to survive that with a stick shift.
So I turned my radio up real loud,
pleased by the unexpected outcome of the unavoidable
situation, singing along quite smugly with a grin on my
face. But suddenly up ahead, I read an overarching sign.
“Please report misuses of HOV lane now.”
I stopped singing, and my pleasure was
replaced by fear. I slowly looked back at the snaking
traffic and saw that hundreds of drivers were looking in my
direction! With nothing else to do, the people who weren’t
moving were looking at the people who were.
I hit the gas hard to avoid anyone
knowing I was the only person in the car. Maybe they could
think I had a kid in the back or something, since the
passenger’s seat was dismally empty.
As I sped along, my mind took on a
criminal’s cunning mentality. I made sure to keep
equidistance between the car in front of me and behind. That
way, no one can read my license plate clearly. I turned down
the radio to avoid attention and wished vehemently for
stronger-tinted windows. Finally, my lane merged with the
rest of the highway some twenty minutes later. I moved as
far as I could from the HOV lane and gave a sigh of relief.
That night, I kept on waiting for the
phone to ring: “police department calling for the owner of a
grey Toyota” or “you’ve received a $200 fine for misuse of
the HOV lane.”
But no one called or has called since.
Maybe, just maybe, I got away with it like all my other
Mwhahaha. I certainly hope so.