Thursday, November 3, 2011

Guest Columnist: Meanwhile, On the Other Side of the Bridge ...

... people are crazy for different reasons.

Everyone who has known me for six consecutive seconds knows that I hate to drive. Even though I have the cutest car in the entire world,  that I even named, that is less a car and more a piñata on wheels, doesn't matter. I still have to navigate him (yes he's a boy) through morning traffic from my relatively neutral place in the "better" part of Rowhouseland southward down into the more ... shall we say ... vintage area of the district ...

where the roads are not designed for cars but for 17th-century sedan chairs bearing William Penn and his entourage (and full of loveseat-sized sinkholes that they inexplicably don't mark in any way except to spray-paint around them, in fading white spray-paint, which you can't see until you're on top of them ...)

then back northward and then westward (I guess, I don't own a compass, I just drive where I need to go) across The Giant Road of the Twelve Terrifying Lanes which, depending upon the side of it you live, determines your predilections in much the same way that living in the meadow beneath the manor-house dictated your serfdom or apprenticeship in times gone by.

I won't say which side of that I live on.

Anyway, eventually I end up somewhere where Bill Cosby apparently used to own property; where there are gabled roofs but no sidewalks; wisteria growing from eaves, but only one 7-11 within walking distance; which often runs out of the kind of popcorn I like.

But in between! The things I encounter! The inexplicable luck of getting stuck behind a trash truck and a school bus and another trash truck and a cement truck and a roofing truck! On a one-way street! With someone going in reverse at a rather fierce clip!

And so on. I never know. It's why I have to take sleep medication, from the stress of it all.

But sometimes I play a little game, when I'm creeping along behind the buses and the sanitation personnel. I look into the other cars, whatever I can see, or at the houses, or the people outside them, and I make up names for them and entire lives for them and I pretend I'm a new neighbor that bakes cookies and is their best friend, because I totally would never do that and I totally probably wouldn't be.

It's my form of compassion, I suppose. Other times I just curse and lean on the horn. Sometimes, the person I'm correcting gently with a blast from my piñata has a license plate that's from ... another state. Sometimes, they're honking at me.

1 comment:

  1. "where the roads are not designed for cars but for 17th-century sedan chairs bearing William Penn and his entourage..."

    and that's the sort of stuff I have missed reading ! Welcome home.