The rumble of the diesel engine quiets as I lift my foot off the gas. The odometer needle drops as the truck slows to a crawl. I scan down the block looking for witnesses, there is no one, I am alone. I feel the fluttering in my stomach as I see them up on the corner; they are still there waiting for me. My hands sweat into the leather cover of the steering wheel and I calculate how many seconds it would take. 2 seconds to stop the truck put it in park and open the door, another 2 seconds to get to the curb, at least 5 seconds to throw 4 of them into the bed of the truck. There are 10 of them lined up in a row, but I will only take 4, no need to be greedy….
There are several construction projects going on right now on the island where I live, they all have an abundance of bright orange cones that mock me. I constantly catch myself plotting to take them when no one is looking. I consider myself to be a law abiding citizen, I don’t even like to jay walk. I stand at a cross walk waiting for the light to change watching my fellow commuters illegally cross the empty streets. One thought runs through my mind, “if I jaywalk and get hit, my mother will be so disappointed!” Guilt has always been a much stronger deterrent than legal consequences. Still, the orange cones call to me.
This is why I had to stop at Home Depot this weekend to purchase 4 orange safety cones. I had 6 which I had legally purchased a few months back, but I needed 10 to make a full Western Riding pattern at home. Now I will be able to drive past the construction sites without taking a long drawn out double take. I will no longer visualize stuffing the orange cone that resides in the stairwell at work into my back pack. I still haven’t figured out if it would have been seen by the security camera. No, I will be safe at home with my 10 legally purchased orange cones. Actually I have 13, where the other 3 came from I will never tell.