Highways of Hell

 

I peel my sweaty fingers off the sticky steering wheel.
Flicking the vents in the optimistic hope of even a small breath of cool air.
Forced to roll the windows down in the 90-degree heat, assaulted by the reek of exhaust, overheated brakes, and hot asphalt .
For endless miles, four lanes of sleek asphalt highway have transformed into a parking lot. Hemmed in by cars, trapped in a traffic jam of who knows what origin.
How on earth can 65 miles per hour so quickly become a standstill?
There is endless to time to analyze the discarded wrappers and fast food detritus littering the edges of the road.
Cars edge forward.
Brake lights flash hopelessly.
An unchanging landscape of grey concrete dividers and steel radiate shimmering heat.
Silhouettes of other drivers, entombed in their cars, hoping to escape their misery through their cell phones.
Jammed together in forced separation.
Slowly, we inch up a rise in the roadway, hoping desperately for signs of traffic beginning to move.
But having finally reach the top, an endless vista of more cars come.
The sun glints maliciously off the metallic hoods and roofs like some cosmic middle finger.
I sigh, and once again fiddle with the vent.

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