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» Monday, March 29, 2010Commuting Tales
Somewhere in Atlanta tonight there is a truck driver who hates me.
I was changing lanes before reaching Peachtree Industrial Boulevard. When I moved in front of the truck there was a good distance between him and myself; then the BMcedes in front of me, who was trying to get into the right lanes, abruptly jammed on his brakes because the inevitable slowdown and the PIB exit (the right lane backs up, the drivers in the lane to the left of the right lane see all the brake lights and jam on their brakes, too, even if there is no need to). I almost ended up with a truck in my back seat. It would not have been a pleasant thing. I could hear the grind of his gearshift as his windshield loomed up in my rear window. Urf.
Today was my day for seeing unusual cars. This morning I was in the turn lane next to a MiniCooper painted to look like the British flag. This evening I drove about six miles behind a 60s-vintage Plymouth that looked a lot like an old Impala without the chrome. On the passenger-side window was a decal of "the boys" from the old Beatles cartoon series of the 60s.
Ew. Smelled like a 60s car, too. Funny, I don't remember cars smelling that bad when I was a kid, unless they were physically blowing grey or black smoke out their tailpipe, or it was a diesel that went by. I remember the scent of fresh-cut grass, dirt, the tar stink of building roofs being redone, cooking scents from neighbors' windows, the sweet scent outside the Gansett Bakery and the rich tomatoey scent of Marcello's, the hot smell coming out of the cleansers, the faint scent of the Burger Chef if the wind was just right, Z'Maria's grapes in the warm sun, Mom's flowers and Padina Lillian's hydrangeas, hot concrete on a summer day, but not a lot of regular car exhaust. Maybe we were just inured to all the exhaust odors back then?