I left work a little late but before 5:00 – around 4:50. I knew enough not to leave at the top of the hour. Those that do, just sit in an endless line of cars waiting to get off the premises.
I was ahead of the game.
My reliable bomber Camry hummed down the street not wanting to sit in city traffic. I arrived at the railroad bridge fairly quickly so I could cut over to the highway. I liked this shortcut because the next entrance was too far into the city.
In front of the railroad bridge was a sign.
“Local Traffic Only”.
I didn’t exactly ignore it. I just rationalized how it didn’t apply to me:
- I work locally
- I know some of the locals
- I’m familiar with the neighborhood
- I’m not turning back at this hour of the day!
I drove passed the sign, around the ballfield and in front of the condos, so I could turn left onto the highway.
As I approached I saw the blue lights. Cops in this neighborhood must have been the reason for the locals sign.
When I readied to turn left toward the Interstate, I saw the DPW roadblock. Suburbanites that cross into this neighborhood must have been the reason for the bigger sign.
I could see where I wanted to be but couldn’t get there. Worse yet, now I needed to go back into the city – after 5:00!
I was behind the eight ball.
I had to wait at the ballfield crossing. I stopped at the railroad bridge. I played stop-and-go down the country state highway with its multiple traffic lights. I got stuck in front of McDonald’s because their drive-thru lane was out into the street.
The highway is ten minutes from work. It took me forty-five to get there.
I’d been the first to start but couldn’t catch a good break.
…until I got some medium fries for the ride home.