Friday, April 21, 2006
I know that traffic lights do not contain malice. They do not even have the capacity for choice. They cannot do anything but "be": red, yellow (for a small amount of time) or green. This is function, and not autonomy. The changing of colors, and the control of traffic than ensues, is just a result of clever algorithmic function.
I KNOW that.
But it doesn't stop me from being mad at them this morning. We, and by that I mean my clients and I, are already late, due to a mix up with pants, and I just don't need some automated light system messing with my morning drive. Do you hear the tone in that? As if they could choose, and then they DO choose, and the choice is centered on me. How terribly arrogant.
But that is logic, and the mornings are not for logic. They are for irrational hatred of anything and everything that gets in my way. And I am ALREADY late. Dammit. The first light, that is an anomaly, I think. But in the ten blocks that are lighted (they all have street lights, but I wanted a word to describe "having stoplights") all five of them turn red before I get to them. And not just
before, but JUST BEFORE! ALL FIVE OF THEM. FUCK!
I can keep it together through the first couple. Really, I can. But by the third, I am swearing so much, and so vehemently, that my clients start to giggle, in the way only adults who share intellect with children can, and I get more frustrated. The forth light makes me want to run through, damn the cross traffic. But the fifth, and final, oh that's where I lose it, I mean TOTALLY LOSE IT. I start swearing, not at the lights, only, but at the people who put them up. At MNDOT, for deciding I need lights on my morning drive. At the man who invented the traffic light to begin with. How about the city planner who, unlike city planners with heads on shoulders, instead of securely up their ass, can't make the lights all turn at the same time.
But we get the distance behind us, in only about triple the time it should take. I, of course, am livid, for no reason, and can hardly say, "have a nice day at work, guys" without adding some muttered oath.
But then one of my clients turns to me, just as he leaves the van, and says, "Other days, Other dollars"
Close enough, Billy, Close enough.