Tuesday, September 11, 2012

the freeway wall


I was born on the San Bernardino Freeway. Eastbound side. A twelve-foot concrete wall separated our backyard from the fury of one of the busiest freeways in LA: six lanes going west, six lanes going east, and down the center, the Union Pacific. Behind the wall, traffic was a constant roar. During rush hour, the cars crept by, with faulty mufflers sputtering, transmissions grinding, brakes squealing and stereos blasting. Motorcycles mainlined while sedans idled. Eighteen-wheelers struggled in low gear. The occasional voices, franticly shouting into the callbox… At night, the cars came in waves, a few seconds of silence followed by a steady current of traffic. In the ebb and flow of late night transit, I discovered infinity, like a strip of gauze stretched taut.

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