The commute started early this morning, with an early meeting conspiring with noise in my head about getting on the other side of the rush hour traffic that would surely build with every minute. Nothing stresses my commuter self more than being late for an appointment with miles of traffic ahead of me. I don’t like commuter self all that much, and avoid his company when I can.
Traffic going into Boston is a wonder, but not wonderful; starting much earlier than you’d think possible, lingers past when you’d expect it to end, then reverses direction almost immediately to wreak havoc on your soul when you head home. You either skate your lane, distract yourself with music and podcasts or you let it get to you. I’ve gotten better at letting it go, but it’s a weakness in my character and I feel commuter self creep back into the car more than I’d like. So I play the active avoidance game when I can, and podcast the heck out of the worst of it. I once turned down a great job with a big promotion and raise because I didn’t want to crush my soul with the two hour 40 mile commute. I don’t regret the decision.
This morning I time-travelled to Boston, found a café and sit writing this blog while others are stop-and-going on the highways I just left. Coffeehouse music is playing, counteracting the effect of the caffeine and the adrenaline of hundreds of cars and trucks I spent the last hour with. My coffee sits steaming on a distressed wood table and The Lumineers and Jason Mraz are playing just loud enough that I can barely hear the diesel engines and honking horns out there. The regulars talk amongst themselves but the place is still full of empty. There was no logical reason to leave as early as I did, with 90 minutes of time to spare. But I like the company of coffeehouse self more than commuter self, and that was enough for me.