Known Johnson

March 3, 2006

Boxed in

Filed under: General — Tom @ 2:15 pm

I headed out at lunch for a music store further away than the one I typically hit at lunch. They have had a CD used that I’ve been wanting for some time, and as I don’t get around there much, paired with the fact that they still have it in stock, gave me confidence that it was probably still there. It was, at least, something to do.

The trip requires me to hit two freeways, the 202, which is about a half-mile away from work, on which I make my way east for a few miles before hitting the 101, which forms an enormous loop around Phoenix, or will when it’s finished someday.

So I set off and all was well. As I approached the north and south exits for the 101, however, things slowed down drastically. It appeared that the north-bound traffic must have been blocked somewhere further up the 101, backing everything up for miles, including the south-bound exit. I decided to continue east another mile and get off at Dobson, then make my way south on the surface streets until I hit a road that would get me back to the south-bound 101.

I made a mistake and chose Main in Mesa to take me to the 101 – there’s no entrance to the freeway there, so I had to travel south once again on the road that parallels the freeway, Price, for only one mile, to Broadway, where I definitely could get onto the freeway. The moment I turned onto Price I saw the blunt nose of a freight train make its way slowly across the road a ways down. I was blocked for what would most likely be more than five minutes, maybe even ten depending on how long the train was, judging by how it crawled ahead. I swung into a neighborhood and headed west: I would not be hitting the record store today.

I weaved my way through the neighborhood and back onto Main, which turns into Apache when Mesa gives way to Tempe at some invisible spot along the road. It was at this point that I decided to get myself some lunch and continued west with the intention of going to Wendy’s.

I have two fast-food vices: Wendy’s and Chick-fil-a. I have thoroughly investigated it and discovered that, when it comes to fast food, these are the two places that are the closest approximation to “healthy.” Luckily, I actually like both. And since there isn’t a Chick-fil-a anywhere near Tempe, Wendy’s it was.

And then I ran into a tremendous line of cars backed up due to a massive construction project on Apache. Stopped at a light, I carefully considered how much I really wanted Wendy’s. I had lunch back at my desk at work. Nothing exciting – a bag of Uncle Ben’s microwave rice and some grilled chicken – but it was easy and dependable. Wendy’s was . . . well, it was just out and not at my desk. But the line of cars hardly moved, and I just happened to have an opening to take a right. Take a right I did and headed back to work.

Were I a spiritual man, I’d say that someone or something was trying to tell me something. I was boxed into a small area of town with only one way out and only one choice available as a destination. As it is, however, I’m not really a spiritual man, so I’m left thinking, “Damn, that was annoying.”

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