Reactionary, perhaps. But he's not the only one out on the lanes harboring taboo desires. A hand-lettered sign attached to the hospital exit has for some days fluttered in the semitropical breeze. Slowing dangerously for the third day running, Kraft at last makes out the text. GET OUT OF YOUR CARS.
Sure. Why not? Billboards are scriptural, hereabouts. Billboards for multihundred-dollar tennies, for CDs fiscal and audio, for song collections of searing social protest, for attitudinal adjustments, for advertising firms, for out-of-work actresses, for billboards. Why not a billboard proclaiming a commuters' general strike? Some self-sponsoring eco-terrorist has evidently shimmied up the stainless steel under cover of night, swung out onto the overhang, and, suspended over half a dozen lanes of traffic (flowing, in these parts, even in dead darkness), masking-taped this manifesto in a prominent spot where it is nevertheless entirely illegible to all but the most incurably print-curious.
Kraft holds up instantly irate traffic just long enough to make out a smaller, scribbled footnote that has sprung up the night before. Some second death-defying maniac has taken up the gauntlet, shimmied the pole, and in midair, appended below GET OUT OF YOUR CARS the codicil, AND FIGHT LIKE A MAN. Exercising the old First Amendment rights, which will of course be suppressed tomorrow by municipal hook and ladder at taxpayer expense, in the name of public safety.
From Operation Wandering Soul, byRichard Powers, MacArthur winner and author of excellent books like Plowing the Dark.