Monday, March 15, 2010


One of my favorite moments on my bike commute is when I pass over Highway 520 in Montlake, by Lake Washington Boulevard, near the University of Washington.

It’s not because of the natural beauty of the place nor does it have anything to do with the fact that it usually marks the time on my ride when (around this time of year) I finally start to warm up.

Nor do the fond feelings emanate from memories I have of the place, like the time I attended an impromtu art show there.

Rather, my affection for the spot has primarily to do with the view I get each morning, as I look east across the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge and see a vast line of automobiles, all stuck in traffic, inching along, brake lights blinking, as drivers creep towards their destinations, en-coffined in their cars, ha-ha, too bad for them, while I enjoy the lovely out-of-doors, smelling the jasmine and daffodils, the pine and cedar, and the filing my ears with the sounds of songbirds greeting the day.

Plus, I get to be all self-satisfied that I’m doing my part to save the planet while all those self-centered bastards in their gas-guzzling deathtraps are hastening the demise of the world while they listen to corporate rock n’ roll and cheap commercial hip-hop on their overpriced car audio systems.

Or something like that.

Mostly, I’m just glad it’s not me trapped there like they are. It’s all too reminiscent of when I lived in LA some years ago and would drive my seven miles to work every morning on the Santa Monica Freeway and seeing those six lanes of traffic backed-up on both directions would just absolutely annihilate any sense whatsoever you might have of being a unique and meaningful individual in the world; rather it became all-too-apparent that you were just another ant in the anthill waiting for the can of Zippo to be squirted and lit aflame.


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