Stuck in traffic, we lament the interruption in our travels, express dismay in the delays to our travel plans, wonder why we are slowing then stopped on the highway. We sit with our uncomfortably filled bladders, unable to relieve the pressure, turn our cars around, or ride along the downward-sloping shoulder.
Complain, swear, scream uselessly inside our cars, a single white truck stopping every few feet for the driver to open the door and vomit on the side of the road, we creep along, helpless and frustrated.
After miles of this long snaking array of cars and trucks, we see the flashing lights in the distance. Lots of them. And we rethink our anger. We approach with trepidation, fear for whom these lights blink and sirens sound, ambulances and fire trucks and a flat bed truck now loaded with half a speed boat on top of it, another winch pulling up the other half the boat from over the road’s edge, down from the barricades, workers in yellow reflective vests and hats gathered, watching. The tail end of a car also visible in the overgrown weeds.
We feel guiltily thankful and relieved that we are simply stuck in traffic, not part of this horrifying accident that added hours to our driving schedule. And hope that the people who were involved have escaped, unharmed or at least alive. As we drive past the rescue vehicles, the lanes open, the cars and trucks and motorcycles speed up, the race towards our destinations back on, the accident already fading in our minds as we think about what lies ahead—curving roads, glaring sun, and hopefully no more slowdowns. Until the next one. C