Wednesday, November 2, 2011
More From Project Vacate Facebook
Ultimately, Facebook is like being stuck in a traffic jam. The long road trip began with such promise. You were on your way to a land of old friends and maybe some family. The highway was wide and there were so few cars the miles zipped by. The vistas were filled with bright sky. But the lanes narrowed and became more numerous. The cars seemed to be coming at you from every direction. You made a wrong turn and suddenly you were on a one-way toll road to Montreal with no exits. Finally you get to an exit, near the Canadian border, and the toll lady sees your panic, she tells you, “Take a right and a right and another right, and that might you get back to where you want to be . . . deary.” And so you do as she told you and next thing you know you’re in four maybe fives lanes of headlight to tail traffic and you decide the only thing you can do is roll down the window and change the cd in the player -- maybe listen to some Neil Young for a change. But then you are drawn to listen to the music coming the car next to you and before you know it you are reading all the bumper stickers - so many bumper stickers . . . inspirational, angry, political, and then there are ones that make no sense at all. You look to your right and watch a copper colored minivan roll by - it’s packed with a family. Father is driving. Mother is making peanut butter crackers for her hypnotized children in the back - they are all staring up at individual flashing blue tv screens and they do not blink. Father answers his cell phone. Mother puts down the crackers and knife covered in peanut butter and begins to text. Then they are gone and you see a woman in a convertible . . . is that a red Thunderbird? And she’s in a bikini and her hair is blowing in the wind although she is only going two miles an hour and she is steering the little sports car with her perfectly manicured painted bare toes while she sells vitamins on her Blackberry. It begins to drizzle, and then snow, and you are running low on gas and then? A man leers at you from his Wonder Bread Truck. You roll up your windows and change the cd again, now you decide is a good time to listen to something from Bob Dylan and you stop reading the bumper stickers and instead decide to clean out your glove compartment. You’re hungry. You miss home. You’re running low on gas. The engine is making a noise. What would happen if you got out of the car and walked? Would anyone care? Just beyond the big Dairy Queen sign, someone hits you from behind. It’s quite a jolt. You sit for a minute and try to take in the implications of this. If there’s damage, then it’s going to be a big complicated mess - what with being out of state and all. But it’s their fault you tell yourself, it’s always the one who comes from behind who’s to blame . . . right? You catch sight of a tweed coated figure stomping toward your door in the rear view mirror and you see the sparkle of broken glass on the wet pavement . . . you take a deep breath and reach for your registration because you know exactly where it is now that you cleaned out your glove compartment, and you roll down the window. The tweed man leans in and smiles, “You should have been paying more attention!” Night is falling, the distinct glow of GPS units seems to come from every car as you near the Tappan Zee, like little stars. Ice fog is rising from the Hudson and a train horn blows in the distance and then you see the train just like a toy in a Park Avenue window at Christmas time making it’s way along the big river from the City into the suburbs where it will deposit commuters like coins in their little towns - they will go home and eat reheated pizza and watch bad movies while they text their lovers. The exits are numerous now, the parkway has no tolls, you pick a familiar place and decide to stay there for the night . . .