Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Stuck In Traffic

Sitting on a bus, bike on rack, the traffic from Water to Soquel going south on a Tuesday afternoon is a disaster. They call it rush hour, cuz' everyone's rushing to get the fuck away from their horrible jobs, so they can get home, nuke dinner, and watch TV till' sleepy time, but poetically enough, no one's going anywhere. At least I get to read a book rather than worry about putting my foot on the gas every few seconds to move a few inches forward. It's times like these I recall the perpetual nightmare that is the Los Angeles freeway system and the blood pressure squeezing AM talk radio shows my dad used to subject me to.

All the route 71s are running late today. It's always this way the bus driver says to someone who inquires what the fuck is the holdup all about. The bus driver then adds, "Single driver in a single car makes traffic."

How ugly and true. It's something I don't witness in its totality too often as I'm usually zipping past cars on Soquel or Murray St. But on a bus, it's painful to watch. The lines of rectangular metal objects, inside: little humanoids, outside: concrete - all of it stretching into the horizon. It's even more painful if you recognize that with exception to the few hybrids on the road, every engine is just running idly, spewing toxic particulates into the air for no reason other than there are simply too many other particulate spewing combustible engines on the road.

Even as we pass over the freeway on Soquel Ave, near Dominican Hospital, Highway 1 going South is as hopeless as the side streets we're stuck on. I glance at my watch and then glance again - I could just get off and ride to my destination in Aptos, and bypass all this bullshit but it would take a lot out of me, and heavy riding = heavy eating and unfortunately, I don't have a lot of food.

I weigh my options, I look outside at all the bloody cars. Endgame. That's what I think - we've reached the logical conclusion of individualism. The technophile society thinks there are no limits to the natural world, but they are completely wrong. The problem is, the system refuses to acknowledge they're wrong and have made a colossal mistake. Is there a way out? I don't know. I decide to stay on the bus for the rest of the ride, and read my book.

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