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Reggae Rope Monster: A True (?) Story
I had an urgent noontime appointment to keep and only just enough time to get there from work without any delays when I noticed the car ahead of me, a red hatchback. The hatch stood wide open, revealing a bewildering jumble of items crammed into the back of the vehicle. All that restrained the mess was a length of yellow nylon rope tied so slack that its middle waved as much as its loose ends did. That is so useless, I thought.
The upper end bounced and bobbed, an untidy clump of rope-ends like dreadlocks around the heavy knot that anchored them. Longer ends, maybe three or four of them, danced around the middle, flying upward with every bump in the road. Their undulations looked so free, so carefree, that I felt mesmerized.
One piece of the jumble slid toward the open hatch. I stepped on the clutch, ready to slow down and avoid the debris, but it never came. I accelerated with caution, thinking the object was just delayed in falling, but when I got nearer, I could see that everything was in place as it had been. Peculiar, I thought.
The traffic signal ahead turned red. We slowed to a halt in tandem, the hatchback and I. The dancing nylon rope sank into fitful rest, but an occasional ripple ran through it when the wind gusted. I rolled down my window to catch some of the chilly autumn breeze. From the red hatchback ahead of me, I heard strains of reggae tossed here and there by the wind.
Then the traffic signal turned green. The hatchback rolled forward, dislodging two or three objects from the jumble. This time, I was near enough to see the waving rope-ends gently tap each item back into place, always maintaining the buoyant reggae rhythm. One rope end waved at me.
The driver behind me honked irritably at me, and I remembered to drive through the intersection. My appointment took me to the next right turn, which I almost missed because my attention still clung to the strange dancing rope creature that guarded the open hatchback. I have almost no recollection of the meeting I attended that day, but every time I hear a strain of reggae or see a red hatchback on the street, I remember that curious creature, the Reggae Rope Monster.