traffic jam in los angeles at night
Driving home, the 5 North is jammed. Anomalous. Traffic should happen during the day. There's some kind of construction ahead that has closed all but the far left lane. Weird human sounds like teenagers on a roller coaster coming from somewhere...is there a rave going on underneath the overpass? Seeing the details of the freeway scenery at this hour is strange....I usually pass them so quickly. Never really appreciate that there are plants growing on the shoulder, giant concrete tongues arcing under and over each other, with strange acoustic pockets that form a cone of silence for a few car-lengths, then lurch forward a bit and all the cars in the distance (the ones that were smart enough to take the 101) sound like ghostly blitzkrieg fighters wailing through the night. The headlights are warm, hovering. The Ford Explorer in front of me is playing some kind of game with the car in front of it. Their driver door opens for a minute and then shuts. Sharp white light flashes inside....a camera or a video game, maybe. The Explorer irritates everyone for awhile as it waffles over whether or not to exit on 7th and the precise point where the pylons are merging us into one lane. People honking behind me, I have the sudden absurd fear that a gunfight is going to break out. I keep hearing that weird ecastic rollercoaster screaming fading in and out of earshot. The Explorer exits, the honking stops, and then it's mysterious quiet again, the engine hums melting into one low white noise. Feels oddly harmonious, this. Moving incrementally in little surges, tectonically, as things should move on the Earth. I feel a little happy that the speeder idiots are being stifled. We're all in this morass together. We hypnotize each other with our lights. We all get into that one lane eventually.