"Before you can search for truth, you must be interested in finding it." -Miroslav Volf

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Drive to School

I’m walking to my car. The air is so fresh out here.

I’m pulling out of my parking space…glad I didn’t have to park in my garage, as it’s kind of small. But if I moved stuff around and condensed a bit, there might be more space.

I’m going over the four speed bumps. I really hate speed bumps. Maybe I should check mail. The mail probably hasn’t come yet. I don’t know when the mail comes. I should figure out when the mail comes so I don't keep wondering every day.

There’s the bus stop. I took the bus to school once. I should do it again. It is cheaper to just drive.

I’m driving down the hill to the highway. The sun is blinding. Oh wow, I need to wash this car…I can’t see out the window very well. I hope everyone is doing what they’re supposed to be doing. An erratic move, like a dog running out into the road, right at this moment, might end poorly.

Ugh. Skunk again. My landlord wasn't kidding when she called this place “skunk hill.” The one downside about living here. Though I have seen a few skunks around here; they’re actually quite beautiful.

That person ran the stop sign. I don’t know if he realized there was a stop sign there, or if he just doesn’t care. I wonder—if it was guaranteed there would be no punishment, no legal/financial consequences—if I would run stop signs more often.

Death Cab still, eh? “Monday Morning.” I suspected maybe this song was written by Ben about Zooey, and I looked it up and was right. So sad they broke up. I wonder why? Who left who? Wow, I’m so glad people aren't sitting around in their cars speculating about my personal life.

Getting on the freeway. This traffic isn’t so bad. People are doing what they’re supposed to do, working as one, an efficient network, employing the "zipper principle" and very aware of their surroundings. Good work today, drivers. Oh s*** there’s the exit to I-80. Sorry! Sorry, driver, I know, I’m stupid, sorry! Thank you, sorry!

Going over the toll bridge…glad I don’t have to pay the toll driving in to school but only driving home. $5.00 every time. There’s tolls everywhere down here. And so many different toll takers! I’m not totally sure I’ve even seen the same person twice, yet, in all my trips. Lots of jobs I guess.

There’s Pinole…maybe I’ll stop there at Trader Joes on the way home. Two-buck-chuck is really $2.00 there, not $2.50 like in the NW! Nice work, California. I may have to stop there anyway to buy something to get some cash back for the toll bridge. It’s silly they don’t take cards. They probably want you to get a Fastrak pass, to help the flow of cars. Smart. Obnoxious, but smart.

There’s Richmond. People told me not to live there because it was dangerous. That’s probably unfair as a generalization, but I’m sure there are some dangerous parts that I…ahh…oh great. Here's the traffic...I knew the quick commute wouldn't last forever. This is where it always gets bad. Ugh. Traffic is stupid. I don’t understand traffic. If everybody did their part and did it well and worked together, we’d have highway harmony. Wouldn't we? Oh boy…Plato’s notions of justice are creeping into my everyday life.

Now listening to a podcast. Rachel just said “vagina” a few times. Apparently she had some problems with Christian publishers or bookstores or something  who wouldn’t publish/carry her book—a book about the Bible—because she used the word vagina in it. But they don’t mind the use of “penis” or “testicles.” Wow. That says something about something. Oh wait, I’m still a little sheepish about saying the v-word. Huh. Maybe I've got a ways to come, too. And, wow, these guys interviewing her, though I’m sure they’re very intelligent, are coming across a bit like horny little schoolboys. I feel awkward for her, though she’s bantering well enough.

Oh, there’s that one hill. I’m almost to my exit. Nice, my coffee is still hot…this is a good travel mug. It keeps my coffee hot for a long time. Though my coffee has lost its freshness. Nothing like that first sip in my office at home. Back then I enjoyed the coffee for its beauty, it’s magnificent embodiment of “coffee-ness.” Ok, need to stop doing that. Anyway, now the coffee is comforting me, feeding my addiction, more than delighting me. Glad it’s hot. Oh, come on! Really? On my hand? I didn’t tighten the lid well enough.

Ah, there it is, the bay. So beautiful. I can see the Bay Bridge, San Fran, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the water below. So gorgeous. For all its faults—tolls and traffic and high costs come to mind—this is a beautiful area. Wow. The water’s so blue today because there’s no fog. Wow. Sublime.

Shoot, here comes my exit, gotta get over. And, merge. And…merge. And…ok, fine go ahead, I’ll go after you, and…merge. One more!? I always forget how big the highway gets here…and…wait for it…merge. Man, I’m getting this California driving thing down. I think people expect you to be bold, and don’t get as upset with you when you merge ahead of them, because that’s just how it works. I’m apologizing less and  merging more courageously these days. Hmm. Maybe I take back what I said about drivers not getting upset, because I blocked a guy who sas cruising yesterday and he got upset. Hopefully I slowed him down and prevented him from an accident. Yeah, I probably saved his life by cutting him off. I'm a hero.

Gilman St exit. There are more stop signs if I go this way than if I took my smart phone’s suggested route, University St exit. But less traffic, I assume. Oh, this is annoying though…the road is two lanes each way, but the left lane has all of these left turns, meaning people stop and hold up traffic waiting to turn. Poor people though…that guy’s probably been waiting to turn for a while.

Jimmy Bean’s coffee. I should go there some time. Toot Sweets…that sounds good too. So many interesting places to check out in this city. Bagels! Actually that doesn’t sound all that enticing, I don’t know why I just got so excited about bagels.

Oh wow…Fall is here…I love this stretch of trees. Every time I’ve driven in to school over the last few weeks, these trees have been slightly more diverse in their coloring, with more reds and oranges and yellows overtaking the green. So beautiful! Such a fun way, totally removed from my calendar or schedule, to watch the time pass.

Can’t believe it’s already late September. Can’t believe Clara’s as big as she is, though I know some wouldn’t call her big. What a lesson in savoring. I can feel myself already missing earlier stages of her life, though I’m glad she’s growing. People are probably right when they say children grow up fast. No, they're not right. Children grow up at the speed they grow up; it's not fast or slow. What a silly thing to say.

Pedestrian crossing a crosswalk. That last driver didn’t stop for him…the pedestrian is visibly annoyed, surely judging the driver for his or her lack of road etiquette. You are holding us up, pedestrian. Though you do have the right-away, and appear to be walking to the transit center. I applaud your ecological concern.

Just as expected, there are a few open spots…it’s two hour parking, so I have to come back and move my car during a class break, but it’s free at least. I’ve seen the parking police chalk my tires, so I know they’ll catch me and ticket me if I don’t move my car. It seems silly…just moving it to another spot a block away. Whatever.

Locked. I think it’s locked, I didn’t hear the reassuring beep that lets my know my car is locked. Ah, there’s the beep. Now I'm sure it’s locked. Wait, are all my valuables hidden? Yes. Well, my banana chips aren't. If someone's hungry and sees my banana chips sitting there they might break into my car. Fine...I don't really like them that much. But I do like my windows being intact. Perhaps I should hide the banana chips.

Now up the hill to class! Nice drive this morning.

2 comments:

Bryan Vogel said...

I enjoyed your drive to work, way to be more bold in your driving!! :)

JillW said...

I Love this Matt -- stream of consciouness writing. Very interesting. I must say, however, from a parent's point of view our children do grow up fast. I look at my adult kids and think, where did the time go???? You'll see!!