A sliver of moon hangs above the skyline, plays hide and seeks with the not quite tall enough to be called skyscrapers buildings, finally relaxes over the Pacific as I drive home, craving my bed. A few more hurdles, a few more curves and a few more moronic drivers. In a city where 95% of the population must spend an inordinate amount of time in their vehicles, 50% of them are careless, rude and complacent drivers. How is it possible? Could it be that our cars have become an extension of our living rooms and offices and we are as unself-conscious in them as if we were prattling around in our slippers?
During a typical Westside commute, a woman pulls into my lane trying to make an unexpected left, changes her mind, returns to the right, without a single indications of her intentions. A skinny girl in a minivan hits a jeep in front of her and then dances lightly on the pavement, waiting for help, while traffic at one of the busiest intersections in town has come to a standstill because of a mishap that doesn’t seem to touch her in the least. Dead battery car in the middle of Beverly Hills is forcing buses to painful detours, angry man in a Mercedes races the tenth of a mile devoid of traffic to make himself feel better for a few seconds, while all around me people talk on their phones without an earpiece, eat, drink, apply make-up or scroll their i-phones. I have to hand it to my fellow citizens – the majority is unfazed by the gridlock – they have given up the frustration. Including me. I will be late to my dinner but there is not a lot I can do about it as the alternative is an ulcer. We have created a world of entertainment in our cabins, with radios, i-pods, phones and videos for the kids. If we have to be stuck, let’s find some enjoyment.
And then I look up and I see the moon and I am reminded of the unexpected beauty this metropolis dishes out when you most need it, making some of its drawback more bearable. And, to look at the bright side, we don’t have to deal with those crazy New York taxi drivers who take your life in their own unexperienced hands zooming down Fifth Avenue. Always grateful for small mercies.