“Suicide Lane” by Mather Schneider

Mather Schneider


Yesterday on Grant Road I got behind a 4Runner SUV, blue-gray, dirty, maybe ten years old. It was going slow in the fast lane. Rush hour. I finally got a gap in the slow lane and put my blinker on to pass it. Then the fucker went into the slow lane right in front of me, blocked me again! Shit fire! All the cars in the fast lane poured through like wasps through a knot-hole. 

In a mile I finally got a gap in the fast lane and jumped back in there and passed the 4Runner. I glanced over: a woman driving, putting her make-up on, smearing it all around her face, oblivious to the chaos around her, blessed with natural blinders. Good Lord Almighty! 

Then today I got on Grant Road again, like a moron, and I swear to God I found myself behind the very SAME 4Runner. Tucson is a city of a million people. An indifferent universe my fat, white, hairy ass! She was again going 10 mph below the limit. When I managed to get past her, I looked over and this time she was eating something out of a paper sack. 

My soul. She was eating my soul. 

She was enjoying it, and would not turn her head to meet my stare.

from Rattle #61, Fall 2018


Mather Schneider: “Tucson had the last of its ‘suicide lanes’ eradicated in the early 2000s, but as a cab driver it always seemed somewhat suicidal to even be on the road, as it seems suicidal to partake in almost any part of our civilized system. I am no longer driving a cab but I still have those days and those thoughts that the world is eating me alive, and that the absurdity of life is intensified by the absurdity of human society. Tim said this poem made them laugh, which makes me happy.” (web)

Rattle Logo