car, hurry, people watch, traffic

Going Nowhere Fast

I did something the other day that I never do. When the alarm goes off, I usually get right up. I have been known to lie back down after resetting the alarm, but even that doesn’t happen too often. But the other morning, I didn’t even get up. I reset the clock – not once, not twice – but three times! When the alarm rang for the third time, it was 7:10. I normally leave for work at 7:30, although I can get to work by 8:30 if I leave at 7:45 and drive like a maniac! So that morning, I went flying through the house, slinging on my clothes and dragging a brush through my hair. No make-up day! Amazingly, I was walking out the door at 7:45.

It was already determined I would be late for work. There was an accident on the expressway and traffic was parked as far as the eye could see – going nowhere fast.

Have you ever people-watched while stuck in traffic? Most people don’t have anything to do when they are caught in a traffic jam, but it’s quite fun to watch what some people will do. There are the important executives who use this time to finalize deals or call their assistants and give them work to do. There are others who will call their friends just to chat and pass the time away. Then there are people who left home before they were actually ready. There is the man in the lane next to me who is using his battery-operated shaver. One woman is applying her makeup. There is also the guy who appears to be reading his mail.

I finally arrive at work 1 ½ hours after I left my house. After a busy day at work, I was ready to hit the road at 5:00 PM for what would hopefully only be a 45 minute ride. It was not to be. This time I got stuck in traffic before I ever reached the interstate.

I was stopped on a road that I call “Car Alley” because there is every kind of car dealership you can think of on this road. So while sitting still on the road, it seemed everyone was looking at cars and dreaming. There were BMWs, Mercedes, Lexus, Lincolns, Jeeps, Hummers and the more common but less exciting Fords, Chevrolets and Chryslers. I probably “spent” hundreds of thousands of dollars picking out my dream car!!

As cars crept forward, I got stopped in the turn lane on an overpass bridge. This is a 5-lane bridge that really should only be 4-lane. When the traffic going in the opposite direction gets stopped, you can carry on a conversation with the person in the car next to you – the cars are that close.

As always, it’s interesting to watch people. In the afternoon, they are in just as much of a hurry as they are in the morning. I wonder where they’re going to in such a hurry. Perhaps some are like I am – eager to get home to their husband and children. Maybe they’re meeting friends for dinner, or have to take their children to sports practice or piano lessons. Maybe they have a meeting to get to. But we are all in a hurry – going nowhere fast.

(c) 2015 Edwina E. Cowgill

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