Traffic, I am convinced, is my ex coming back to vex me…

Traffic, I am convinced, is my ex coming back to vex me…

vehicles on road
Photo by Brayden Law on

the whimsy and agony of traffic, I got off at a relatively early time (for me), had to fill up the tank, no problem, on my way back toward the GSP, NJ Transit bus in front, pulls over for a stop, I can not pass (double yellow) so I chill out for a moment, then a minute, I am barely past the intersection, the light turns, I feel it pulsing in my rear view mirror, the pressure is mounting up lining up behind me, three minutes now, weighing breaking traffic laws and scooting around, “eh, how much longer could it be?” I think, foolishly, indeed, three now stretches past five, I can hear the people’s thoughts behind me screaming WTF inside my mind, a couple of cars in back tuck turn tail around as they have routes of escape, not me, right behind the big silver sardine barge wondering what the hell is going on, so, just as I am ready to make an illegal K turn (or maybe more like an F), the bus lurches forward, and then I see the cause of my torture, a man, in a strange colored rain parka (it was not raining), the hood tightly on framing his gaunt face, the same weird gray beige as his rain gear and boots made for flooding, or wading, either way, not boots made for asphalt pavement, at least not tonight, he was surrounded, quite literally by a circular fortress of bags, plastic grocery bags, all double bagged, had to be about thirty, I can not imagine how tedious that would be to board and un-board a bus with that cargo, how nicely cramped his bus neighbors must have been, the man, and his force-field of bags was also quite in the road, so I had to tiptoe (ahem, break) across the double yellow lines as to not smash his carefully placed bag telemetry, ah, the irony, anyway, that was not the first stop, next was only one hundred feet up the block, but this was no bus stop, I know where all those are, being this is the town where I work, the next one is quite far, farther down past the overpass at least, I can barely make out the lights trying to bend around the bus, something is amiss, an accident? ya’ gotta’ be kiddin’ me now what (in my not so strong more north jersey accent)?? (another few minutes now pass as I stew in my own juices), I notice the bus looks confused, I mean, by the driver’s actions I can sense that the driver does not know what to do or what is up, either do I, but after Mr. Bags back there I was not getting stuck, this time, while I did not cross a double yellow, I did the worse and ducked to the right, a bit of daylight to a street I knew I could escape to, for a moment I thought the bus was going to turn right as well, right into me, he hinted a turn, but I slipped by, unscathed, took a look down the street back, yep, emergency construction or something, the road was closed totally the way I was going, what luck! so, down the escape path I sped, happy to wind through back to route 46 and the GSP…

architecture auto automobiles bridge
Photo by Pixabay on

…of course there was traffic on the GSP, why wouldn’t there be? was the world conspiring against me ? certainly feels that way, I put on the classical station to soothe the savage beast looking to burst forth, tchaikovsky, and a number I am familiar with, one that brings me back to a day when I had the previn driven nutcracker suite on tape, the one thing about tape is it made you mostly listen to the whole thing, fast forward and reverse were not exactly convenient, or exact, until they came up with that thing where they stopped at gaps in sound, which was a revelation at the time, oh how the little things satisfied, not the one button at our fingertips convenience of the now, or even voice commands, so anyway, this put me in a better place to deal, with the bumper to bumper ordeal laid out before me this night, I almost wish the parkway was not so exact, when you are speeding along you hardly notice, when you are limping along it is hard not to notice the mile markers…

grey sedan on the road
Photo by KML on

they seem stuck on numbers for miles, the thump thump thump of the road on the tires, it is like a cruel parody of those wheels at the boardwalk where you never win anything cool anyway, why do the hosts on classical radio all sound like they are americans trying to sound like british royalty? sometimes it is annoying, sometimes soothing, but it just is, finally, I near my exit, I can see it, that guy is going to cut me off, that jeep, two lanes over, here it comes, yep, darts in front of me as if there is some emergency, or the four car lengths behind me were inadequate compared to the space between the forward lexus just ahead of me, since I am expecting all manner of bad luck or dumb luck or no luck this does not phase me, or irk me, or even bring me to a rousing boil like it might on some days, no, I am accepting my beating by the gods today, might as well take it on the chin than scream into a hurricane, Mr. Cutmeoff is going to also realize he is in the wrong lane and jerk back into this turning lane, yep, I’m a traffic psychic in a sea of psychos this evening, I should buy a lotto ticket but there would probably be a long line at the local krauszer’s, finally I am on the road home, good old route 27, I figure I deserve a treat, so I decide to travel a little further up the street, maybe whet my beak at the local irish pub, or better yet pick up some tasty latin grub, I opt for option two, so I head towards Metuchen, which is really the belly button, well, donut hole of Edison, a little main street nugget of idyllic Americana if there was such a representation in New Jersey, this can’t be… I see those ominous flashing lights ahead, I was in the clear for so long now, I should have just packed it in on the final stretch, apparently I do not learn my lessons well, as I approach the lights, I realize (exhale with glee)… not on my side, of the road, and a cop is literally standing there with his hand out stopping traffic without warning, I feel for you my poor fellow souls over there, I really do, but for now I slip by, I just chuckle to myself, there is no way traffic, this ambiguous thing, this idea, there is no way Traffic has a sense of humor… or vengeance… is there?

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