I buckle my seat belt and back slowly out of the driveway. All the cars parked along the street make an oncoming vehicle difficult to notice. I've been honked at before.
I safely bounce into the street and head towards the main road. I sigh and think about the children I just left behind. They cry every day. I know they stop the moment I'm out of sight, but it's hard to leave them teary eyed and begging for my return.
I know it will be a bad commute. The rain is starting and I'm running a bit late. I stop at a light and lean back on the headrest.
I'm so tired. I close my eyes. Freddie has not been sleeping well. The molars are killing him. I didn't even have time to shower this morning. Hope no one notices. And Ainsley? She hates mornings. Getting her up can be like wrestling...
The horn from the car behind me yanks me from my thoughts. The light is green and now I'm holding up traffic.
The rain is coming down hard as I pull on to the main drag. I am immediately met with brake lights. I feel my blood start to boil. I could have never imagined it would be this bad. And then it begins, the crawl, the start/stop, the aggressiveness, the irritation. And it will continue all the way into DC.
I hate begining my morning this way. I'm angry and annoyed. Irritated that I have to drop off crying children in order to sit through this misery. I despise the other drivers. They are all out to get me, all destined to be in my way. Just drive! I think with each passing moment.
The clock ticks closer and closer to eight, so I make the dreaded call. I'll be late I record onto the voicemail. Traffic is horrible I spit out. I'll be in as soon as I can I say just before hanging up.
I continue on my slated path, no where else to go, no where else to turn, just trapped in this long snaking line of red brake lights glaring through the heavy rain. Red lights...they're so harsh. I wonder if it's actually the color that projects that feeling, or if the feeling of sitting behind so many red lights has altered the color's hue. This is what you think about in traffic.
I finally see the flashing lights ahead. An accident. I'm sorry to say that my first thought is Well, at least there's an end in sight.
I inch slowly past the fender bender on my left shutting down that lane. It makes me even more annoyed. I'm able to speed up the approaching hill only to be met by another stop light.
But as I sit at the top of this peak, I see it. My favorite part of the commute. The Arlington skyline is visible and clear. The buildings pierce through the gray sky at different heights and shapes. And then as I proceed through the light the sky clears for just a moment and the sun peaks through the shredded cloud. The light reflects off the mirrored windows of the building, and for a small second I smile and enjoy the beauty of the urban artwork.
The skyline disappears quickly behind the rooftops and before I know it I am submerged back into the sea of red brake lights and swishing wipers. I am again surrounded by the gray and misery of this commute, but for a moment there was peace.
I'm writing this post in response to a prompt at The Red Dress Club: This week we asked you to write a piece about something ugly - and finding the beauty in it.