Wednesday, June 29, 2005

It's raining in New York...

..and all the roads pointing home are flooded. Whenever it rains even semi-heavy, there’s just nowhere for the water to go in the Bronx and lower Westchester. (And from what I hear, in Long Island, but that’s not home for me.)

So, literally a half million people, and me, are all on the road, trying to get out of the Bronx. Looking for a way to get home. Some alternate route that won’t end up in a river of rain at some point. So we’re all sitting in our cars, in traffic, waiting for the car in front of us to move. Slowly inching our way forward, our bumper nearly on top of the one in front of us.

I almost never get caught in traffic jams. Funny when you think about it. It’s New York, after all, capital of traffic jams. But I am extremely lucky in my current job. My commute is only about 25 minutes one way. Hell, I used to have a job that required that I drive up to Albany twice a week. Five hour round trip, twice a week. I will never complain about a 25 minute commute. Or the lack of traffic jams on my route.

But really, I don’t mind waiting in traffic. I have air conditioning in the car (first car I ever owned that had air). I have a cd player with mucho cd’s (ditto). I just kick back, turn on something good, and either mellow out, or rock out, depending on my mood. But here’s the problem. Not everyone can wait so patiently. They think they are more important than the rest of us waiting. They think their time is more valuable. So they sneak around the lines, and cut in as far up the line as they can. Not just one, but dozens. Making the wait even longer for those of us waiting patiently.

That’s normally when I lose it. That’s usually when Dr. Mood becomes Mistress Jekyll. Do not fucking cut in front of me when I’ve been waiting patiently for an hour. My car becomes a massive weapon, and damn it, I’ll use it if I have to. I don't give damn how big your fucking car is. But you will not cut in front of me. You like that nice car of yours? Well, then, back off jack, ‘cause I’ll bump it. I will.

Not surprisingly, that’s also when I cease to like myself. I am not a good person when I lose it. Doesn’t matter if I only lose it in a traffic jam. I’m not a nice person when it’s gone. It just exhausts me. By the time I get home, you could wring me out. You know, it takes about a thousand times more effort and energy to be angry than it does to be cool. But it takes even more energy to try to keep that anger under control.

I tried to stay cool, but, as my 25 minute commute stretched into an hour, an hour and a half, nearly two hours…I was so close. But really, really tried to keep cool. And I mostly did. I did ‘flip off’ a couple of people. Yelled at one. But I was mostly cool. When I was finally close to home, I did what any normal person would do. Treated myself.

My idea of a treat? Tonight it was KFC and Carvels. No cooking for me. No leftovers for me. Only really, really bad for me stuff. And I’m not even going to work out tonight. I don't care how loudly that elliptical calls my name. It can just sit over there in the corner all lonely-like. Instead, I’m going to go get my Carvels chocolate peanut butter sundae, put my feet up, watch the boob tube, and relax. Relax, while it rains in New York.

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