Trina Machacek: At yet another stop light
Luxury. Oh so many ways to have luxury in your life. Big ole house on the beach with hot and cold running everything. New Caddy with all the bells and whistles. Brand new wardrobe and every single item fits. HAHA Dream on. There are mountains of other things that would stack up the luxury pile, if you were making a luxury pile. One luxury I count in my life is that the nearest stop light to me is a full 100-plus miles away. I do not take that lightly. Get it, stop light/lightly.
There used to be a light on Main Street in Eureka. It hung in the center of town on a wire stretched from the corner in front of the courthouse over to a light pole kitty corner from there. Just a white bulb on a wire. No red, yellow or green machine. Just a bulb. Then one day it was just gone and nothing was ever put back up in its place. We Eurekans do not need to feather our nests with the doings of a light to tell us to stop, slow or go. Quite lucky we are in that. But! Yes a brightly lit “but.” But in the city there is a need for these automated traffic cops. Colorfully lit machines that control the comings and goings of the multitudes.
There is an intersection in Reno, Nevada that is at a juncture that not only involves regular surface street but also the comings and goings, on-ing and off-ing of cars to a freeway. I was stopped waiting to just move along the street I was on when I tried to count the lanes merging at this point on the globe. I couldn’t count them all. I got confused at 12. Oh and the arrows in the lights and on the ground were like looking at fish in an aquarium. Darting traffic here and scooting cars there. It was so amazing that I remember thinking, “Man the guy who designed this must have gone off the deep end blubbering incoherently into the night!” Yes I said incoherently to myself. Now that’s a $4 word.
That intersection intrigued me so much that one night after I got home and it was quiet and like 3 a.m. and I had nothing else to look up on my computer because I already looked up how to say hot mustard in Cantonese, I Google Earthed that spot to see just what it looked like from the air. It’s just as messy from the air as it was from the ground. It works though. It actually works like magic. And FYI there are at least 27 lanes coming into and going out of the intersection. A whopping 23 more than the corner in front of my home. I can also tell you that when I pull up to the corner in front of my house if I have to wait for a car, just one car, I get all indignant. HAHA
Of course, I see the need for stoplights. I don’t however see the need for two lanes at McDonalds. The first time I saw one of those I was confused as to why and which way I was suppose to go. It didn’t take long to become accustomed to two lanes at the drive up but I still giggle at that sight.
This last one is what I do when waiting for the gift of green to be showered down on me at a stoplight. No, I do not check my phone. I went years and years without wondering if my phone at home was ringing at the same time I was waiting at a stoplight so I have no need to check my cell phone at a stoplight. I do though watch the people going by in the opposite direction. Especially when I am first in line waiting to turn left and the people from the right of me are turning into the lane that is right next to me. Now here’s a cornucopia of human beings and cars. Oh the cars. New, old, sparkly, rusty. Oh and car windows. Clear and clean, bug covered, some cracked, and more than a few of the windows of cars are smeared with stuff that you probably don’t want to know about. Yuck! I mean smeared so badly that you wonder how in the world the driver can even see to drive. Don’t they EVER use some Windex and a paper towel? You’re going to go out and check your windows huh?
Trina lives in Eureka, Nevada. Find her on Facebook, Instagram or at firstname.lastname@example.org