A Man Named Charlie
We’ve all been talking about how bad traffic in our little town is getting.
Now, to be honest - I’ve seen worse. It used to take me all of 10 minutes to commute from work to home. It’s up to 20 now. Twenty minutes worth of commute is, I know, better than lots of people have it. It’s still frustrating.
See, this city is divided in two by a river. And there’s a lot of people who live north of the river, as I do. And only two ways to get from downtown to the north side of the river. And the highway is narrowed down to one lane each way just before the river, slowing traffic through there, while the rest of the commuters end up taking Ferry Street, which is my usual route home.
I’ve been doing one or the other - mostly driving across to the highway, because at least traffic there is moving, even if it’s slow and there’s a whole lot of people who look at two lanes trying to merge into one and decide their best shot is getting into the lane that’s closed. Today, however, traffic getting onto the highway was backed up several blocks away, so I turned before the on-ramp to head back across downtown.
And promptly got stuck in “let’s all move up one car length and stop again”. In about two blocks, part of my brain was shouting, “Well, did she ever return? No, she never returned, and her fate is still unlearned” like I was never gonna make it home and they’d still find me sitting in line, inching up one car length at a time in the morning.
And that at least made me laugh. And since I have my hands-free all set up, I could poke at my phone screen, hook it up to the stereo, and blast M.T.A. at the best volume I could manage while shrieking the lyrics at cars around me through the window. On the whole, sitting in stop-and-go traffic in a car with a stick shift is miserable, but at least I had the internet for company.