[By Nic Lindh on Friday, 12 May 2006]
If you’ve read this blog for a while you know that your humble author spends more time in traffic every day than somebody who hasn’t been committed for any crime ever should.
But it has its good side. Plenty of time for silent reflection, for playing music louder than I could at home without mentally scarring my child for life, and for listening to NPR and fuming about the state of the world.
The weird thing about traffic is that even though I’m roughly on the road at the same time every day, and it’s always sunny in Phoenix, the traffic has a different personality every day. Some days it’s smooth and easy—heavy, of course, but still smooth, with a nice rhythm.
And then there are days when it’s all ragged and syncopated, with seemingly everybody on the road out of sync with each other. These are the days of kamikaze-death-grip lane changes without a thought to turn signals or a glance in the rear-view mirror; sudden slamming of brakes and envelope-pushing avoidance maneuvers; a parade of vehicles parked by the side of the freeway, drivers yelling on cell phones and glaring at destroyed fenders; highway patrol cruisers suddenly leaping into action and pulling cars over at 20 miles-per-hour speeds.
And the commute becomes an obstacle course instead of a passage.
What wounded the animal?