/11 Wealth

William Speer

Gold Rush

Idling on 41 at noon. I stop when the light turns yellow, no reason to rush home, no work stress to run from for a while now. The shadows barely take the shape of whatever is in the way of the summer sun. Everything reflects light. The sidewalks and the sky are white.

The older strip malls lining the highway used to house salons, insurance men and lunch spots. Now they are unbroken lines of For Lease signs punctuated by We Buy Gold. It seems strange to think about selling jewelry while you are waiting for the light to change, but when was the last time you wanted to be seen wearing that? It was always appreciating in value in the drawer, I saw one just like it on the Antiques Roadshow last year, worth a small fortune. Forgot which family that came from anyway.

What music are they listening to? Metal? Hip Hop? Motown. They wave, flip signs and smile, some work for a company that requires a necktie in the heat of the summer. Some of them have scrubbed away the grass right next to the road, the shade cast from their bodies fits neatly inside a small circle of sand. A cooler, no chair, when the light changes, the high-visibility-yellow sign goes down to rest up for the next red light and a new line of air conditioned customers. The only shade is cast by the traffic light pole.

How do you know you are getting a good deal? The guy with the beads and the foam finger, he looks honest. The handmade sign with the bling, dealing in a full product line I guess.

How long has that light been green? I check the mirror, no one waiting behind, no one ahead either.