The Thought Process of Sitting in Traffic

Help! I am getting a butt cramp


I like to think of myself as a cool driver who has calm but vigilant reflexes, remains cheerful — but not unpleasantly so — amidst traffic, and maintains searing focus while maneuvering the open road with speed. Alas, I’m of the white knuckler kind.

I wanted to be out of the city and on the freeway by 6 p.m. It’s 7:37, so I already blew that. Now I’m in an even bigger hurry. I should have left earlier. I never learn. And to the Subaru in front of me, if you’re gonna turn, you gotta tell me.

Uh-oh. Can I turn right on red? I guess we’ll find out. That chorus of honk-happy bullies tells me no. Lay off, I’m new here.

Crap. Is this the on-ramp? No. Yes. No? These signs could not be more misleading and now Siri is giving me the cold shoulder. Okay, it’s the on-ramp. I can relax now.

Nope, can’t catch a break. You’ve got to be kidding me. Move it or lose it! You know who else never learns? The Subaru who doesn’t know how to use a blinker. Out of my lane, asshole.

Ah, that’s better. Nothing more satisfying than making it to the fast lane after a successful triple lane change. LOL at the Subaru for trying to cut me off. Yeah, I’m holding a grudge. He can eat my dust.

Except there won’t be any dust — we’re at a stand still. Probably just bottlenecking; it’ll clear up soon, right? Maybe if I just sit on my horn for a while I’ll feel better.


Okay, joke’s over. What in the name of tuna is going on up there? At this rate, I’m never going to make it to the bridge, which is a catastrophe because all this talk of tuna is making me hungry. Starving. I’m starving.

I guess I could make some calls. Where’s my headset?


….Fuck. The fated freeway phone drop. Maybe if I extend my big toe far enough — really flex it! —  I can reach the tip and drag it back. I feel a foot cramp coming on. Yep, it’s a full throttle, raging foot cramp. Stomp it out.


I have no one to call.

But I do have to pee, and everyone’s breaking again.

Wait. Why is Google Maps freaking out?

AHHH!! What do I do? Pull it together.

I’m on the bridge. I repeat, I am on the bridge, officially en route to New Jersey!

But I’m trying to get to Long Island.

I guess that means I’m making a “pit stop.” They have beaches in Jersey, right? That’ll do.

Photo by Ralph Crane, 1959 via LIFE Magazine. Gif by Hannah Kellner.