The heat bore down on Peter. The sweat beaded on his forehead and then ran in tiny rivulets down his skin. He was melting.
He pulled off the large-rimmed hat to release some of the hot air that seemed to have formed right above his head. Without the shade, his skin immediately roasted. He could hear his skin crackling.
Peter poured some of his cool water onto his face and hair and replaced the hat.
The radio message hissed through and he flipped the sign he was leaning against to allow the traffic through.
Being a traffic controller was a glorified lollipop lady. Only instead of getting little kids on their way to and from school, he had to face off angry drivers who just wanted to be anywhere but in their overheating cars. And his shifts were over eight hours long.
His inflamed knee and begging to be given a rest. He watched the bored faces pass by. He wanted to scream at them that this thing they call life was bullshit. Someone else (it was always someone else) will rip what they love away from them and watch as you tried to reassemble the fragments of your life.
A young couple drove past in a beaten Combi. They had strapped two surf boards to the roof, a declaration that they had the promise of a summer without a care in the world ahead of them. She gave a slight wave to Peter and reminded him he needed to call Matilda. She was about this girl’s age and probably doing something just as young and free.