Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Route 58: Followers of the way?

Of course I'd better explain. County Road 58 is the main road that, for four miles or so, runs through the centre of Riverhead's commercial district. As a further explanation: Riverhead is the county town of our county of Suffolk, and it is also where my daughter goes to High School. So as you can imagine, I write from daily experience.

County Road 58! Surely it conjures up a rural image? A winding road with barns and hay stacks either side; traffic occasionally stopping for cows or sheep; an old inn offering home-made chowder and freshly baked bread. Unfortunately not. With the exception of "Lolly's" ( a tiny and superb diner/cafe that, along with the ruin of two barns, dates to the agricultural past) the hungry traveller has to choose from the usual selection of fast-food pollution. The existence of TGIF and Applebees only raises the culinary bar by a millimetre at best.

And the traffic? This road is an amateur racetrack at most times of the day! The speed limit is 35 miles per hour, but surely only a suggestion. And I am guilty as the next driver at not keeping within that number. Yes, I'm aware of that, but today I was aware of not only my failure to adhere to the number of the law, but of the drivers who were passing me. I was cruising at about 40 mph, and, of course, the Ford pickups were passing me at excessive speeds. But that's a tradition in so many parts of America. Big truck, large wheels, small brain. It's a cultural, mathematical equation. It is what is is!

What was much more interesting this afternoon was my noticing five. maybe more cars passing me at similar speeds, but cutting in and generally and aggressively annoying other drivers. And all of them displayed the "fish" decal on their rear. Ah, the fish! The symbol of one who is a Christian. But not merely a Christian, but one who is a member of a particular type of church. As John of Patmos wrote in Revelations, in one of his less surreal moments, "Let the reader understand."

What is it with these born-again folk? And why do they rush so? I feel a need to increase my speed and follow them. But I'm afraid of where I might end up! And I'm sure it ain't heaven. It might be County Court.

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