Thursday, March 21, 2019

On the go with nowhere to go

In-between writing, I go for walks. I walk later when sunset is later. I'm struck by the number of cars on the road well after rush hour. It's striking how many people are on still the road when they don't need to be. They aren't driving home from work. Although some drivers pick up a few items at the supermarket after work, I see lots of cars on the road later than that. 

And that's just the work week. As a night owl, I also have some awareness of drivers coming home or leaving home at midnight, 1AM, 2AM on Friday and Saturday nights. 

It's striking in part because lots of people say they hate fighting traffic, yet they spend so much time on the road when they don't have to. It seems as though many people just can't stand to be still. Even in an age with so much home entertainment (music, movies, TV shows, video games), they are fidgety. They have to get in the car and go somewhere, at all hours of the day and night. They have to be on the move. They need the distraction. They have more hours in a day than they know what to do with.

These appear to be people who have nothing better to live for. Driving is filler. Hopping into the car and going somewhere, anywhere, is a way to kill time.  They can't stand to be alone with their own thoughts. They require constant physical activity. Not to mention the opiate of smartphones.  

Ironically, if they were diagnosed with cancer, most of them would undergo any treatment, however painful, however poor the odds of survival, to eke out another five or ten years of life. Yet look at what they do with the time they already have. Just driving and going places to pass the time. If they had another ten or twenty years, they'd squander the extra time on the road to idle away the extra hours. 

I understand that some folks have to be on the road at odd hours of the day and night. But in my anecdotal observation, it seems to be more prevalent than that. Insatiable restlessness. 

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