Friday, July 26, 2013

Paving the Way

Getting ready to go to the store again, but today I have a plan. I will ride down beyond the beyond where the workmen in their white and orange hardhats and brilliant reflective yellow vest with their long line of trucks picking up and laying down and rows of orange cones and police blocking access to the avenue I grew up on and must cross to receive sustenance will go around the work of the day. Good idea, but it didn’t work.
I set off right with a set course of going down below where I thought the construction project was going, then cross the 4 lane avenue, then back on the other side to the grocery. What I hadn’t planned in my dreamlike state at 5 in the morning was that this was a much bigger project than it first appeared. The orange cones have multiplied to every intersection for miles. The normally quiet side streets are clogged with local neighbors and delivery trucks and construction trucks and every other vehicle who seems to have lost their way in this confusion. Now remember that most of the drivers in this neighborhood are a gazillion years old so they are easily confused. Today they are really, really confused. The look in their eyes is like a confined cat in a cage.
So I weave in and out of this parade of clowns checking every corner to see if there is a way around. There isn’t. I continue my journey to the obvious spot for crossing. The bridge. They can’t pave the street and the bridge at the same time, can they? And as I guessed, this is the stopping (or starting spot).
I can duck up on the sidewalk to get out of the turning vehicles and those allowed to ride past the machinery and observed the operation. Very impressive. Hundreds of guys stretched for miles trying to make a street that I didn’t think was too rough, smooth. Trucks and all sorts of heavy machinery are moving back and forth and the smell of asphalt is in the air. The dust and smoke and chatter and that sound of heavy machinery crowds out the normal bird songs. Some guy on some type of sweeper sees me waiting and offers me passage. I wave him on to his duty for I am too engrossed in the ballet happening before me.
Finally a break in the action and I cross the bridge to the other side and back track to the store. The other side is filled with wandering traffic looking for a way out. I’m in no hurry so I let them pass then push on to my destination.
As the nice ladies pack my bags I comment about the disruption on the construction. They appear unfamiliar to what I reference, but then again maybe they are on the other side.
Crossing a street is like crossing a bridge to get to the other side. When the way is blocked, for whatever reason, life as usual has changed. I could go the other direction to another array of grocery stores or even go further down and around, but this has become an adventure.
In the long run, these is my taxes being spent and jobs created and after some time there will be a beautiful smooth long black ribbon that I can ride on. Luckily I am far enough away to not hear the noise or the smells and the weekend will be here tomorrow with another trip and another exploration of a familiar territory.
Just another adventure in Just Another Day.

No comments: