Dancing in the Street

After teaching classes at the University of Hartford last week, I ventured home. I wasn’t looking forward to the commute at rush hour through the grid of West Hartford streets with a stoplight at every block. One saving grace: it was a gorgeous start-of-autumn day. I opened the windows to let in the crisp clean air.

Soon into my drive, at what felt like the hundredth stoplight of the journey, I heard music. Someone a few cars ahead had their windows open, too. They were blasting a pop/rap/club dance song. Clearly, I wasn’t the only one who heard it. I watched as a man from the other car ahead of me got out and approached the music-player’s car. I panicked. Was I about to witness road rage?

The man was in his thirties, in a suit and loosened tie. He didn’t look upset. In fact, he was smiling. And soon, he was flailing his arms in a goofy dance to the beat of the music, celebrating the end of the work day. The mobile DJ pumped his fist out his window in acknowledgement. Then the dancer rushed back to his car as the light turned to green.

At the next light, the business dancer turned left, while the music guy drove straight. Out the windows I saw hands waving and heard loud exclamations of “Have a great day!”

Strangers brought joy to each other, and to the rest of us who witnessed it. That’s a great drive home.

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