One thing I like about commuting is that I feel like I’m part of a big awful something.
Is that sad? Maybe it is. You see, I’m not much of a joiner. Well, that’s not exactly true. I’m a big time joiner, but an even bigger time quitter. I like the idea of groups, of belonging, of community. I really do. It’s just that my introverted, indecisive soul rebels against commitment and camaraderie.
But anyway. Commuting lets me feel like I’m part of something without officially being part of something. There’s something so tedious, so infuriating, so prosaic and yet so communal about hitting the road at rush hour and traveling 10 miles an hour until you finally (finally!) reach your destination. I can’t help but feel happy and full of hope during my morning commute. I am a part of this big, angry, soul-crushed crowd of suburban commuters. We have something in common.
Every weekday, before and after work, I turn on my 2005 Subaru Legacy, put on my sunglasses, press play on my audiobook and take deep breaths at every red light and inexplicable slowdown. It’s really something.