By Tom Waltz ■菲萌 译注
I live for<注2> freeway traffic.
I wake up every morning secure in the knowledge that the new day will soon be filled with blaring horns, overheated engines, lost tempers, suffocating<注3> tailgaters,<注4> and the like. I can't help but smile. After all, I'm a Californian—Southern Californian to be exact—and it is my duty as such to proudly be a dedicated member of the Golden State's most cherished tradition: Gridlock!<注5>
Words cannot begin to describe the feeling one gets as they idly sit in an ever-growing line of cars on a freeway entrance ramp. Nor can mere words symbolize the intense emotions that build in each individual in line as they watch the signal light allow only one car at a time enter the freeway. Suddenly, with complete strangers, a person is able to release the anxieties and pressures that are so often contained within the home. Through various four-letter words and hand gestures, drivers can share with one another the stress that would otherwise remain bottled up inside. It's almost as if they are there, in the jam-packed procession of automobiles, to counsel each other, to share a mutual understanding of the trials and tribulations<注6> this life has to offer. Why pay a psychiatrist's<注7> bill when all it takes is a near-empty tank of gas and a slow-moving elderly person in the passing lane to get to the root of one's emotional isolation? Instead, just pass Grandpa Snail,<注8> flip him off,<注9> and enjoy what the rest of the day has in store.
Tell me, is there any twelve-step program<注10> as simple as this?
I must depart now; the clock on the wall says it is nearly 5:00 P.M., and I don't want to be late for my rush hour support group. Perhaps you could join us? The more the merrier, we always say! ■