Saturday, September 28, 2013

Traffic and other exciting things.

Last week someone asked me: What happened to your blog?

And I answered cheerfully: Nothing. It's still there, as far as I know.

What I meant was: I really would like to be constantly updating my blog with interesting stories about my daily life and fictional accounts of other people's daily lives, but I've been swamped. (No, not literally.) But I've been busy and dutiful and productive in other areas of my life, which unfortunately has led to a major creativity suck.

When I think of my life at this moment, I think of the to-do list on my laptop, which shrinks only to expand again five minutes later.

Nothing on the list is funny. Nothing on the list is anything but "must do." It would be very boring to talk about the must-dos.

It is almost as boring as the story I'm about to relate.


Years ago, W. and I were invited to the home of some people who I am fairly sure will never read this blog. We ate dinner and talked about traffic. And then we talked about traffic some more. And then - although I longed to excuse myself from the table and bang my head against the nearest wall -- we talked again about traffic.

Apparently, there is a lot to say about traffic*, although absolutely none of it is interesting.

W., sensing that I was nearing my breaking point, tried valiantly to change the subject, but to no avail. I tried bitchily to change the subject and this was still to no avail.

We escaped before we could discuss traffic in other countries, or throughout human history, although I could see the writing on the wall. Make no mistake: it was coming, perhaps with another cup of coffee.

On the way home, Will and I rode in silence. It seemed a cruel trick of fate that we found ourselves on the freeway with a few thousand other cars, but we bore this in silence. We both knew that the first person who mentioned the word traffic would have to be shot.


This story is still not interesting, despite the passage of several years. It still does not make me smile.

And if I told you about the stack of essays I was grading, and the tedium of revising my novel and yes -- the horrors of my two-hour daily commute -- you would not be amused, either.

But don't worry, Live from the Bean will return. I will once again feel compelled to point out my own shortcomings and the shortcomings of others. There will be things to chuckle about and shake your head at. (There will even be the occasional sentence that ends with a preposition.)

And maybe this will even be tomorrow.

*If you're wondering, our traffic discussion included patterns, the fastest routes to just about everywhere, road construction that was happening, road construction that should be happening, commuting, potholes, hard and soft shoulders and the horrible driving skills of other people, some of whom happened to be women.

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