January 30, 2005

hell on wheels

I stopped at a light on Sunset Boulevard on this incredibly clear, crisp morning. Passing in front of me, heading up the perpendicular street to the foothills, a steady stream of cars. Blue, maroon, deep green, burnt to cinders�

What? Oh, yeah. That. Old model car, the big American type, black matte finish (ie: consistent with a burned out hulk), billowing a wide swath of smoke or steam behind it not unlike a child trailing a blanket on the floor except a whole lot more impressive.

Thing is, this car? Wasn't stopping. Wasn't trying to pull over to the side. Was just driving on. Oh, that smoke? Yeah, my car's on fire. But, y'know, got errands to run, places to go, can't stop now.

As the light changed and I hit the gas to incite my own combustion engine to action, I thought: maybe the driver doesn�t know his car is a coalmobile complete with smokestack because he's DEAD. Places to go, errands to run, the treadmill of modern life, who has time to stop even if you're DEAD? Maybe the bones of his hands were fused on the steering wheel, the long bones in his foot permanently pressed on the accelerator, maybe he's now doomed to drive through eternity or at least until his gas tank dries up. Fitting, really. A quintessentially Los Angeles way to go. Drive till you die and then drive some more.

(Dan thinks the car had a bad oil leak. I prefer my explanation.)

Posted by Tamar at January 30, 2005 09:45 PM