Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Gridlock

"If you want a picture of the future, imagine a flip flop stamping on a human face—forever."
-George Orwell
I had been warned about traffic before moving to LA. I wasn't prepared, however, for the staggering truth of it: a mass of humanity and steel and exhaust forced through a looping, labyrinthine sieve.

I don't hate it, though. That fact surprised me as much as the phenomenon itself. It is simultaneously oppressive and symbolic of the natural order of things. I don't hate it; I respect it. Humans have created this place; LA is a city of commerce, glamour, beauty and disease. It is the best of us and the worst. And the traffic is like a deep scar...sometimes noble and sometimes hideous.

Traffic, I propose, has made LA a patient city. The denizens of this former wasteland are willing to wait for their dreams to come true. They'll wait for opportunity, fate and yes, traffic. When lines of cars snake out to the horizon on gridlocked highways, I see a patchwork of different ambitions and hopes struggling to survive. They steer this way and that towards all the things they want in life.

Los Angelenos are willing to wait. The traffic may let up any minute...

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful way to think of traffic... I will try to remember that when we are in stop-and-go traffic on the Ike, trying to get into the city for a Hawks game and I am trying not to throw up :-) How did a pilot wind up marrying a girl with such terrible motion sickness? So, have you been discovered yet in LA? Tell them that Emily & Frank think you're pretty cool -that'll get you in the door! :-)

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