Side Jawn

Jake laid on the horn for the fourth time.


A cacophony of other drivers noisily followed suit. It was already dark, around 8pm on a school night. Jake felt bad for the parents on the block trying to put their kids to bed.

There was a large white Buick Regal parked three cars in front of him on Emery Street, blocking traffic. Jake could see an equally large man wearing a dark blue tracksuit with his hood pulled up leaned into the driver side window, whispering into the ear of young woman. She would giggle and kiss him on the cheek every few seconds.

The track suited man seemed to enjoy the frustration of the seven or eight honking drivers lined up on the street. He barely paid any attention to the traffic, only holding his open-faced palm up in the air every now and then, commanding the impatient procession to wait.

Jake couldn’t believe it. About 15 feet ahead of the Buick were two empty parking spots. More than enough space. What’s this guy thinking? People had places to be. Why not just pull over into one of the empty spots and do your thing without ruining everyone else’s night?

Jake was already stressed. It had been a long day. A double shift at Wawa, a long argument on the phone with Tamara, and now this. He just wanted to get home. It usually only took 15 minutes. Now it was getting on 35 minutes, most of it spent sitting behind this jerk in the Buick while he courted his side jawn.

When the man in the track suit’s cell phone rang and he picked it up and started to have a new conversation, now keeping his girl and the growing line of traffic waiting, Jake had enough.

Jake shut off the ignition to his Camry. A chorus of cars honked behind him as he got out, ready to give this guy a piece of his mind. He was furious. He didn’t care that the track suit guy probably lived on this block, probably had a bunch of friends, and would probably kick his ass. He had had it with this whole day.

Jake steamed towards the object of his frustration. As he opened his mouth to unleash a string of curses at the man, the man lowered his hood. Jake choked on his words.

No way. Jimmy Delapena. Holy shit.

“Jimmy!” His deep anger instantly flipped into joy.

“YOOO! What up J!”

They two hugged each other. All the way down Emery street, the cars honked even louder.