I was shivering with anger by the time I arrived home today. You would too if you had spent the day stuck in traffic and playing detour.
The day started with a rain shower. I could hear it outside my window before I was awake. Then, by the time I woke up, it had stopped, leaving the sky gray and muggy. I hate that sticky feeling but it’s how it is over here. The sky produces a few drops of rain, leaving a layer of dirt on everything and the day humid and you anticipating for more rain. It’s not going to happen.
Anyway, I left 15 minutes early just so I can get to school early enough to avoid the line and finally be on time to my class for once this week. I got out of the neighborhood and immediately noticed the construction that was going on. Couldn’t they had done that over the summer?
I hate driving through construction zones because it’s like driving through a defensive driving course. You don’t know which lane goes where. Also, because this was a re-paving job, the top two inches of the asphalt had been removed, making the ride extra bumpy.
I got on the highway. It was looking good until I saw brake lights up in front. What the…
Then I caught a glimpse uphill and immediately, my jaw dropped and my eyeballs popped out of my head. The entire (at least 5 miles) stretch of the highway was lined with cars. The lights from the police cruisers were blinking at the other end of the stretch. There was no way I was going to be on time.
My feet never left the brakes the entire time because it was a parking lot. That’s how bad it was. I switched from station to station on my radio, hoping one station would cover the traffic condition here but nothing. All the local stations were covering traffic report down in Salt Lake City or somewhere on the other side of town as if the city was more important. What about us? The people who are stuck on this stretch of Highway 89?
It took me about 40 minutes to arrive at this spot and it’s not even half-way between the school and home. By the way, that black car was moving, I wasn’t.
I watched the lights in front of me turn red to green and then green to red at least four times before making it through. I sat there and watched every minute go by. My 20-minute commute had turned into almost one hour. I was definitely going to be late to class now.
At the next light, I decided I’ve had enough with this. I followed a car in front of me and squeezed into the median and turned left onto the interstate. It felt good driving on the interstate because I got to go 70 miles/hour. Finally, I’m going somewhere.
By the time I arrived at my usual parking lot, class had started 10 minutes ago and by the time the shuttle arrived at its usual spot and I ran to class, I was 25 minutes late. At least I made it even though it took me 80 minutes to arrive.
I stayed in school for an extra hour afterward so I wouldn’t feel like my defeating traffic was so I can stay for 40 minutes and leave.
When I was a country song from home, something happened. At the intersection, a man was holding a stop sign. When I approached, he made a circling motion. Turn around.
Come on! I slammed my hands on the steering wheel as I turned around. My teeth clenched and chest tightened as I maneuvered back the way I came and searched for a street to turn into. I wanted to scream. Can this day get any worse? But that wouldn’t do anything.
Eventually, I made it home by driving through yet another construction zone. The traffic, the construction, they were my worst nightmare and let’s hope tomorrow and next week will be better.