Sunday, April 10, 2016

Queen for the Weekend

It is definitely odd to see the changes in traffic patterns that result from the time of year. To all those of you who regularly drive on the freeway systems, I'm sure you noticed this years ago and have completely stopped noticing it now. But for me, who has always avoided driving during rush hour, and driving on freeways when overland will do, and has had a terror of being in a large traffic jam, especially on a hot evening with pitiless sunshine pouring in the windshield and the engine slowly getting hotter and hotter and...AARRGGHH!

Pant, pant. Okay. What was I saying?

Oh, yes! I have always avoided driving on the Banfield particularly, since it is the sole East-West freeway in a city which is constantly increasing in size, and seems to be nearly always crawling along, if moving at all. It is also walled in on both sides, with no way to escape a wreck that happened ahead of one, so venturing oneself onto it with a great many other drivers, tired, irritable and more-or-less stupid, and all in a hurry, has always seemed to verge on the suicidal.

So, early on weekend mornings, when I have been very nearly the only driver -- between three and ten other cars, and most of them headed for the airport -- on the Banfield, I have actively enjoyed its use. I feel as though it is all mine, that I am the Queen of it, the Conqueror of the Freeway, and I graciously wave to the crowds of cheering people as I pass by -- at least, inside my head I do. I can go as fast or as slowly as I like and am not impeded by anyone. It is MINE!

So I have not liked these past few bright and sunny mornings, when the lanes are full of cars. All the way full, so that I have to be constantly aware of them and drive like an ordinary person and not Queen of All She Surveys, has been disappointing and frustrating to me. They are mostly SUVs, and a lot of them have bicycles or windsurfing boards or other outdoor gear on them, and I am entirely sympathetic to the desire to get out and play in the sun that occasions these trips. And I also understand that for a lot of people, especially those born elsewhere, the Banfield is the only way to get across town. But still! My kingdom!

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