Not driving around wasn’t all that bad. During the past week I have been without a car. It is inconvenient, a hassle and to be honest the most ideal of situations given the nature of my work. However, a lot of interesting things have been happening because my recent inability to sit in traffic for hours each week.
First of all, I am waking up earlier than usual. While that is a miserable experi-ence to drag myself out of bed at 4:30 a.m., once I’m up, my teeth are brushed and my shoes are tied, the day just takes off. This has been by far one of the most productive weeks I’ve had this year. Fortunately, I have a baby brother that is unemployed and in need of gas money that has been kind enough to drop me off at the office between 5:30 and 6 a.m. Since I am at the mercy of his schedule, I am forced to wrap up at the office by 12:30 p.m. The sense of a timeline creates a feeling of urgency and a result my productivity has gone up.
Second, since I am not behind the wheel traffic jams aren’t as frustrating. I have the option of getting lost in my thoughts, staring at my phone, or picking at my brother’s brain. Granted, being in a car is different when one is alone than when company. So maybe rush hour seems more grueling because it’s an isolated experience even though we are surrounded by hundreds of motorists eager to reach their next destination. The fact is that having company when stuck in traffic makes the trip less painful. When that company includes my little brother, my mind runs wild and makes sitting in a car a fun adventure.
Lastly, because my brother is driving me around we have been able to enjoy those ride-a-longs we had before he started driving on his own. While the reversed roles place me in the passenger’s seat, the routine is simple much like before: I buy coffee and get him fast-food breakfast. We flip back and forth between the KROQ morning show and whatever rap album has captured his attention; we laugh at athletes in the news, question football trades, discuss new tattoo ideas and dream of a Dodgers’ season that doesn’t end in utter disappointment. When he picks me up around midday, we pick up where we left off, with a few new topics to discuss.
I am eager to get my car back; I’m looking forward to those extra 30 minutes of sleep and it will be great to have my mobility back. However, I will miss being on the road with my baby brother before sunrise.