Scenes from a Rearview Mirror

At a stop light on my commute this morning, a pristine SUV pulls up behind me.  The driver is a beautiful woman in her early 40s; aristocratic, high cheekbones, hair pulled up and knotted atop her head, wearing overlarge sunglasses.  Next to her sits a boy of perhaps 16, a mop of dark unruly hair tumbling down over his ears, his expression filled with tightly controlled anger.  The driver’s head is cocked over and down, as if viewing the radio, but it’s clear from her body language she’s trying to be open to him speaking to her, without pressing him – she watches him from the corner of her eye.  After a while, she straightens her head, her neck long and birdlike, her movements delicate, her expression carefully neutral.  The boy doesn’t move at all, his eyes fixed straight ahead, his stony silence radiating disapproval.  She looks over at him for a few seconds, her expression unchanging, then looks straight again.  Neither of them speaks.

I watch them and wonder what the context is.  Did he do something to earn punishment he feels is undeserved?  She clearly wants him to open up to her; she seeks an end to the detente.  Did he learn of some indiscretion of hers?

The light changes and I drive off.

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