Light Post 59

Focus drove me around for several hours again today. Over bridges and through parking lots, we maneuvered endless circuits. Aimlessly.

For Focus doesn’t plan, only motivates. Pushing tires over road surfaces, and I gaze through glass newly zoned as an insect cemetery, hoping to see newness or freestyle spaces. Only death and dry cleaners. Shopping blocks and drive-thruz.

They’re numbered, no less. Roadside light posts. Things you don’t learn in middle school. Numbered lightning. Are the numbers ordered? If Focus and I just blew by 58, what will come next? I have to know. Is there order in this car-dominated universe of streets and Asian-esque frozen yogurt shops?

In every town, is the number one light post erected outside some central building, like city hall or Old Navy? Circling outward from town square, will you unknowingly pass numbers two, three, four and so on in sequence? Or will it be willy-nilly 13, two, 58? The former tells me what’s to come. The latter leaves me hanging wide-eyed like a baby at the circus.

Focus doesn’t seem to care. Can’t count even. Odd how driving machines aren’t as smart as a Texas Instruments calculator but much more expensive and tend to run away with us. I’ve been carjacked by a car. Tooled around for hours, and now Focus is going to tour another shopping block parking lot instead of staying on target to see what number comes after 58.

This will not fly, Focus! Damn you if you turn now. The next light post is just ahead. No you’re not taking this left. Stay straight. The next light post is just there, its number almost visible.

I grab the steering wheel, pull hard back right-hand away from Game Crazy and Forever 21, back away from wasted hours of intersection indecision, U-turns, and triple-lane bypass boredom. Back, I command! Pulling hard right on the wheel again, the Focus now firmly in my hands, it careens across the main drive, up the curb, the sidewalk, and smash-bang into light post number 59.


5 thoughts on “Light Post 59

  1. I enjoyed this observational piece. The wordplay and the illogical order of the world. It is kind of astounding once you open your eyes to see what exists out of place.

    Did you really slam into 59?


  2. In every town, is the number one light post erected outside some central building, like city hall or Old Navy?

    Can I just say I love this? city hall or Old Navy, I love these two places as signposts- the contrast of them, but how many people would sooner refer to the Old Navy then city hall as a point of reference (or importance)…many, many, I think. Great piece, great suspense…and order is (sort of) restored with the discovery of 59….well, in the mind anyway…for a moment? Love it.


  3. In our autocentric culture cars really do drive the people, rather than the other way around. Who is controlling whom? So dependent are we upon them that in certain places (like California, where I was born and raised) the idea that someone might actually want to walk to the shopping center less than a half a mile away never occurred to those who put it there.

    This is why I, I non-driver, cannot live there.


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