Wednesday, July 18, 2012

It was a hot day in Arizona...

It was another hot day in Arizona.  The temperature was exceedingly high even for the first day of June.  As I navigated my way home from work through a morass of overheated vehicles and their similarly afflicted drivers I happened to notice a billboard displaying the current temperature, 111 degrees Fahrenheit. 

An angry Red sun slowly setting in the west, twisted and distorted by the byproduct of dreary daily commutes both past and present seemed to punctuate the mood.   It seemed as if nature itself was making dour commentary on our goings on.

Not that this commute was any more eventful than any other, it wasn't.  The usual cast of characters largely oblivious to the other participants in this risky game were all present.   All have a role.

The impatient jackrabbit convinced that his commuting brethren conspire to impede his progress at every turn.   Darting amongst the less expedient every gap is an opportunity if you're lucky he may take the time to signal before traversing 4 lanes of traffic.

The mule, an overloaded landscape truck with its poorly secured load.  Pavement or windshield which one takes the blow only time can tell.  Only a fool would risk taking a position behind him, many fools do.

The conscientious driver determined to enforce every posted limit even at their own peril.  This is the sworn enemy of the jackrabbit.  The Tortoise versus the hare or so it seems.  A deadly dance that never questions if but when the race ends in twisted metal astride a flatbed truck.

The distracted driver more concerned with the status of their Facebook page than the fiery flare of the brake lights they're rapidly approaching. 

Countless permutations and combinations exist.  We've been them all at one point or another and the memory conjured is never cherished. 

It's a basic rule of nature that most unpleasant experiences are indicators that something's gone awry and needs correction.

A body at rest stays at rest, a body in motion stays in motion.  Daily commutes run afoul of this basic tenet of science. 
Technology is all around us perhaps to our own detriment but regardless of your opinion it permeates every waking hour. 

Why then, with the world at our fingertips do we continue a ritual firmly embedded in 19th century realities no longer relevant 2 centuries later.

Perhaps it's a shoehorn mentality.  Ill fitting shoes can still be worn if forced on the wearer.  Ignore the pain and the blood, the shoe is firmly in place and all is as it should be at least according to convention.  The pain must be endured else the shortcomings of a failing model be revealed.

We commute to passable occupations, accept schedules contrary to our potential and immerse ourselves in misery for the sake of pointless timesinks that barely enrich our personal coffers let alone our lives.

Wake up!  It doesn't have to be this way but it takes the painful act of crawling out of your conformity and demanding more of the limited time you have left to walk on this rock.

Think about it.