The Adventures of Red Six

Daydreams are wonderful things.

Little Dreamer

Stuck as he was in the left-hand turn lane, late for dinner and simmering in traffic made worse when the cross arms at the railroad crossing came down and he saw that the train was a five-engine load and was doing 20 mph tops; he eased the gear shift to park and relaxed his grip of the faux-leather steering wheel to wait it out.
Overweight but not obese, he was either a candidate for entry into the Hair Club for Men, an unfortunate comb-over waiting to happen or just a clipper cut away from hip baldness; weak ankles and an even weaker chin; thick-framed glasses, thicker lenses that went dark with the sun. Skin puckered and cool like plastic-wrapped chicken, only his was the color of Wonderbread; eyes the color of muddy, turgid water, like the Colorado, or the Amazon in springtime.
Tufts of stiff hair grew from his knuckles south, five Fuller brushes if you counted the thumb, which he sometimes grew conspicuous of and at his desk at work took blue-handled scissors and knocked it down to chaff.
He sat trapped in his dirty-seawater-green minivan and stared at the hairy tufts on his fingers until they went all out-of-focus.
And the soft rock favorites for home or at the office on the car stereo faded to the sounds in his head, a pitched battle between futuristic aircraft above a desolate planet.
“Red Six, take us in, everyone form up on Six!”
“Roger that team leader, we’re going in” he says well above a whisper.
The blare of a horn from behind released him from this particular steep dive.