We love/hate freeways

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If it weren’t for freeways, we wouldn’t know where Inglewood was, we would race through pieces of Inglewood and we wouldn’t know where we are or what we are missing or what the threads of city are that wind us from city to another. What we miss when we race from one part of a city to another is the city. What we miss when we barrel along the freeways, threading along the dark high places, is the people. What Los Angeles drivers miss as they drive the freeways is any contact with living human beings. We miss actual people because we don’t have time for them as we zoom along on the 405, the 110, the 210, the 134, we speed all on these freeways and we miss neighborhoods, we miss taco stands, we miss grocery stores, we miss bars and restaurants, office buildings, we do not see the colors of people’s eyes, we miss the scarves people wear when they cross the street, we miss the way someone leans toward you to kiss you, we miss the way people look when they stand outside their houses and listen to the music floating out over the grass or where the grass used to be when they could afford to water their grass.

But why do we like the freeways? Because otherwise we would be stuck in our own neighborhood talking to our own neighbors and we don’t want that. We want to be driving very quickly on the freeways to our work, to our play, to the places where our fingers dance on our own legs to the beat of music that we hear in our heads.

I don’t know what we would do without freeways in Los Angeles. Freeways separate us and they also bind us. We meet each other on the freeways, we talk on the cell phones; that’s how we connect on the freeway. The freeway chops up our city and it binds us together.

I like listening to music as I drive along. The music keeps me going. But all the time, I want to get home. I drive on the freeway thinking home, home, home.

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Published in: on January 23, 2014 at 11:09 pm  Leave a Comment  
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