Left Turn: What I Thought About During a Long Wait to Make a Left Turn

Hmmm. What a lot of traffic. Maybe this was not such a good idea.

* * *

Like lemmings. They just follow one another bumper to bumper to bumper to bumper. It’s like the circus elephants.

They just make this big long chain. Hmmm. Wait. Here’s a break. I could jump out through here and…no. There’s no break coming the other way.

* * *

Is this rush hour? No this is not rush hour. There IS no rush hour. This is the Hamptons.

* * *

There’s got to be a break coming along soon. But I don’t see one. This really was not a good idea. I should have gone the other way. AWAY from the Montauk Highway and then I should have doubled back and come back to the Highway where that traffic light is. What is that road?

* * *

It’s still not too late. I could do that. Uh oh. Now I can’t. That red car just pulled in behind me. I’m pinned in here.

* * *

Maybe if I just creep out a bit. A little bit. A little bit more. Please let me in. Please. Please. No? Okay. I’ll just back up again. Move back red car. Move. I’m sticking out now. He won’t move.

* * *

Look at that guy in that red car. He is very big. Looks like 300 pounds. And mean. I’ll just stick out here. Hope something doesn’t hit me. That’s all right. Sorry. Just swerve around me. Look. I pulled out and now I am sticking out. And there is this gorilla behind me. Sorry about that.

* * *

How long can this go on? Not long. Not too long. Is there a record? A newspaper headline. MAN WAITS 14 HOURS TO MAKE LEFT TURN ONTO MONTAUK HIGHWAY. IS STILL WAITING.

* * *

Don’t hit me. Don’t hit me. Don’t hit me.

* * *

Maybe this guy in the red car wants to make a RIGHT onto the Montauk Highway. Maybe I am too far over to the right. Maybe I should make a right here at the Montauk Highway. No, I can’t even make a right.

* * *

I should have allowed more time for this.

* * *

There is no collective memory. Every driver that comes down the road, bumper to bumper to bumper like this, has absolutely no idea how long I have been waiting here. I could be waiting here an hour and a half. But for each person I am entirely new. For each person it could be that, just moments ago, I have pulled up to this stop street. I haven’t been waiting long. There’s no need for them to make an exception and let me in. AAAAAAAGGGGGGGGHHHHH!

* * *

AAAAAAAGGGGGGGGHHHHHH! AAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHH!

* * *

Here’s a place! Here’s a place! I just floor it and LEAP out and…too late. Jeeez. I could have been killed. That was close.

* * *

That really was a very close call. I can’t believe I almost did that. Am I losing it? What?

* * *

Calm down, calm down, calm down. This cannot go on. This cannot go on. This cannot go on.

* * *

How many people in these cars going by have guns? I read about that somewhere. All these drive by shootings. That big man in the red car behind me surely has a gun.

* * *

Sing something. I’ll sing “The Yellow Rose of Texas.” Oh the Yellow Rose of Texas, is where I want to be. Her eyes they shine like diamonds, her da da da da DA! I remember I was 10 years old and I was at Camp Mackeenac and it was a July night and they put on this film in the mess hall. “The Yellow Rose of Texas.” There was no video in those days. They had an 8-millimeter projector. We sat on folding chairs.

* * *

No, I don’t believe it! I could have done that! A space. A complete space where I could have leaped out and I absolutely missed it.

* * *

Look, I’m sorry big guy. I just missed it. No. No really. It wasn’t that big a space. It may have looked big but it wasn’t. Really. An optical. Okay. I hear you honking.

* * *

But you can’t come in.

* * *

Maybe you should just drive around me. Look. Back up. Back up maybe five feet then I’ll back up and you can just pull right around me. Uh oh. Now that pickup truck has pinned you in.

* * *

I really am very very sorry that 25 years ago when they said this was the last possible time that the State could afford to buy up the land for a Montauk Highway bypass because the price of land was just going up and up and up I am very sorry that at that time I went out with a lot of other people and picketed and demonstrated against this. I really am. Very very sorry.

* * *

I will THINK a hole in this line of traffic. I will THINK it and it will be so. There. I don’t believe it. It WORKED! The traffic has let up on the far side of the street. Now if it would let up going on THIS side of the street I could get OVER to that side of the street…THERE!

It’s going to let up. Look this way. Look that way. Look this way. Look that way. Nope. It’s out of synch.

* * *

Okay, big guy. Here’s what I could do. I know you are mad. I don’t want you to be mad. I could just put my foot on the accelerator and just move right out into the street right into this line of traffic and they would just SMASH SMASH SMASH and it would be the biggest mess they could possibly ever have. The networks would send helicopters. CNN would be here. But I would know nothing.

I would be dead.

* * *

But then you could go.

* * *

Maybe I’ll do that. Here goes. Right into the side of that pizza truck. Foot down. No. No? No? Foot won’t go down. It’s the survival instinct. I can’t fool the survival instinct.

* * *

My survival instinct does not want to be killed by a pizza truck. I don’t blame it.

* * *

Wow. Look at the disgusting thing that man is doing to his face. People think nobody sees them when they drive. And that’s a brand new Mercedes. Yuch!

* * *

Soon it will get dark. People will turn their lights on. There will be the line of red lights going one way and the line of white lights going the other. From up in the sky it looks like a human artery. Red corpuscles and white corpuscles, going about the business of taking care of things. Red and white lights, flowing this way and that up and down motorways and highways and arteries. Cleaning up here and there, delivering this and that.

* * *

I think it is so interesting that everything is so absolutely so much alike except on a different scale. Inside the atom, the electrons circle the neutrons and it looks almost exactly like the planets circling the sun. And it looks like the Milky Way swirling around the solar system. And it looks like red and white corpuscles swirling through…

* * *

Okay, that’s it. I’ve had enough. I am going to creep out a little further here. Just a little further. That’s it. Now I’m committed. I’m sorry you have to screech to a halt like that. Same to you, fella. And you too. I’m risking my life for this. Can’t you see that? You think I WANT to do this? Go ahead ram into me. Ram into me. I dare you. You just ram into me and you’ll have to deal with that big guy in the red car just behind me. Okay now stop the other way, stop the other way, stop the other
way.

* * *

I’m going to die. I’m going to die. I’m going to die. I’m going to make it. I’m going to make it.

* * *

I’m alive. I’m alive. I’m alive.

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