Harshmellow: Seattle Traffic

I exited McCaw Hall with my arm around my daughter’s shoulders. It was one of those gorgeous, golden autumn days that make you forget the grey of winter is even possible. We had just watched the first rep of the season at Pacific Northwest Ballet, and it was a good one. The three pieces artfully danced back and forth across the line between abstract and narrative ballet. My daughter made some observations that justified dragging her to fine art performances at a young age and made me glow with pride.

Driving over Queen Anne hill I glanced in the rearview mirror and was almost blinded by the sunlight dancing on the water of Puget Sound. Dahlias bloomed in the yards we drove past, red and yellow leaves dropping from the trees above onto their brightly colored petals.

I pulled up to the light at Nickerson. The digital sign above the intersection read


I remembered how I used to love waiting for drawbridges. I lived in a city with drawbridges!

The light changed, but there was nowhere to go. Nickerson St. was backed up to the intersection. A cyclist shouted at me as he rode past my window, “It’s green!”

The shiny SUV behind me honked. One would think a driver that far off the ground would be able to see past me to the blocked traffic ahead. They honked again. I resisted the urge to shoot forward and block the intersection. Drivers on the other road had done nothing to me, so why should I inconvenience them instead of the jerk behind me. I flipped them off instead.

Nickerson cleared out as soon as the light turned red, and I spent a light cycle staring at an empty street, with a row of SUVs waiting behind me.

I’m not so sensitive that a biking beardo and a bitch in an SUV would ruin my day. But the mellow was harshed.


2 thoughts on “Harshmellow: Seattle Traffic

  1. I hate it when that happens- especially when people coming from the right turn onto the street and take your spot. They do not have the right of way! But- you initial description of the good part of your day was beautiful and evocative- I could picture the scene!

    • Thanks, Lisa – for the sympathy and the compliment. There are so many wonderful things about Seattle, but lately I find myself opting out of them because I don’t want to face the traffic.

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