228 - lawn
s his fingers twisted the knob counterclockwise, the sound from the radio quickly dissipated, giving way to the cold air blasting from the vents and the hum of the engine.
"Why did you have to turn the music down?" Lucas asked. Mere inches from where his fingers rested upon the wheel were buttons which would easily allow him to crank the volume back up. For the moment, however, he thought to allow for negotiations.
"It was a commercial. That endless blather, I can't stand it," answered Dillian, his eyes transfixed upon something ahead of him through the passenger-side window.
Lucas wished that he could argue with his brother, but the ads were annoying. They were a distraction, at least, as their white mid-sized sedan inched through traffic. "The music comes back on after the ads, in case you weren't aware," he finally added.
"Is it always this bad?" Dillian asked.
"What, the radio? Well, I guess it's not always—" Lucas began to reply, before being quickly interrupted by the passenger in his vehicle.
"No, I mean the traffic. We're hardly moving here," Dillian stated. He was making a mere curious observation, there was not a hint of complaint in his words.
"Yeah, it's always like this around the interchange with the 405. This isn't even that bad, actually. You should see it at rush hour. We're almost through, it should start picking up here soon," Lucas explained.
Dillian nodded in understanding, eyes still wander out past the confines of the car. "So many lanes, yet so many cars. So many people," he said, listlessly.
"It gets worse every year, I swear," Lucas added.
"Do you ever look at anyone else in any of the other cars out here?" Dillian wondered.
"Why, do you see a good-looking girl or something?" Lucas joked. "No wonder you keep staring out the window."
"No, I'm serious," Dillian shot back. "All these people out here, us included. All doing our own thing, with our own places to go. You never take a look at them?"
Lucas considered for a moment. "Well, not really. I guess I'm too busy driving."
"Glad to know my life is in the hands of such a focused and competent driver. But, c'mon, how about right now? We're barely moving, you could take a peek now and get away with it," Dillian said.
"I suppose I could, but honestly, I still pretty much never take a look at the people in the other cars," Lucas confessed.
"You're missing out, man. People always told me California had one of the greatest collection of crazies, and just from the small sample I've peered in upon during this drive, I'm inclined to agree," Dillian chuckled.
"Oh, yeah? What have you seen of interest?" Lucas asked, suddenly becoming acutely aware once again of how low the radio's volume was and how easy it would be to raise it.
"Well, see this guy right here in the red pick-up? His face is so bloated and red, he must—" Dillian began, but Lucas now had his own chance to interrupt.
"Don't point! Don't point directly at him!" Lucas implored.
"Why not?" Dillian responded with nonchalance.
"You never know what will set some of these 'crazies' off! One minute you're pointing at a guy, the next he's ramming you off the road, following you home, or worse!" Lucas shouted.
Traffic started to move a bit faster. The car regained some of its momentum, and some of the stress melted off Lucas' face.
"Nah, no one would ever notice. Just like you. All wrapped up in their own little worlds, never thinking to take a look around," Dillian reassured him.
The radio's volume increased.