Monday, March 31, 2008

Feng Shui on 2-A

I drive pretty much the same route to work everyday. I'm not famous or important or a 'person of interest' who needs a motorcade, a bodyguard or to vary my drive to and from work. I'm a drone on my way to the hive, sharing the road with other drones heading to other hives.

Route 2A is a little tiny piece of road that connects I-395 in Montville with State Route 12 in Preston. I think, if I recall the history correctly, it was expanded after the Mohegan Sun casino opened and, in combination with the Pequot Bridge, is used by many visitors and locals as a connector between the Sun and the Mashantucket Pequots' Foxwood Casino.

I'm not always especially alert during the drive to or from work. I might not notice the bait and tackle shop down the street from Park's Place on Route 12, the hot meal hangout, unless it's painted electric yellow or someone sets fire to the big chum bucket in the parking lot. Routines of all kinds help breed decision by exception. I may not remember the kind of car parked in the driveway nearest the corner I turn into to go to the grocer, but if it's replaced tomorrow by a Rolls Royce or a fire engine red Lamborghini, I'll 'see' it.

So, listening to the Rolling Stones Channel (Channel 12) on my Sirius radio this morning, driving through the early morning darkness of Southeastern Connecticut, I glanced out the passenger window as I passed by the ramp for those joining us from I-395N and there it was, on the shoulder, facing the speeding traffic, a sectional sofa.

It was complete with cushions but I didn't see an end table or a matching lamp and a possible Ottoman may have rolled off farther off the shoulder but was nowhere near the couch. I must point out, the couch seemed to be placed on the shoulder, as opposed to just landing there as it fell from a truck or car trailer. Sort of an attempted oasis on an abbreviated highway.

The hard thing when you see something like this is convincing yourself it's real. It's not like at that hour I can ask the driver of another car, 'hey! didja see that?'. That driver, like me, is locked into her/his own world and unless I set myself on fire, he'll see that chum bucket more quickly than he'll realize I'm trying to strike up a conversation as we speed along. I have little doubt the sofa will be gone when I drive home in broad daylight this afternoon, though in Connecticut when people abandon car and trucks on highways, someone shows up with an orange sticker they slap on your windshield and the vehicle itself remains where it died for at least ten days.

The orange sticker tells the absent owner he/she has ten days to move the vehicle or it will be impounded and disposed of by those authorities 'duly constituted' to do so. The owner is in all likelihood responsible for the vehicle's current predicament, so I'm not sure the sticker doesn't tell them anything they don't already know. It goes on to advise (= warn) anyone tempted to help themselves to any part of the automotive roadkill that this is prohibited. I've wondered if you were 'shopping' for spare parts and apprehended, could you argue that you are illiterate and can not read the sticker? And does the judge then find you innocent of larceny but sentences you to six months of Hooked on Phonics, suspended after three for good spelling bee scores?

And what of the sofa? When I drive by this afternoon, will the orange sticker be affixed to one of the armrests, or perhaps to a seat cushion? What if a movement develops, and there's a coffee table alongside the sofa, or perhaps a magazine rack? What if a remote broadcast truck from HGTV is on the shoulder this afternoon and two burly men are wrestling with the sofa as 'Denice' or 'John', one of the members of the 'HGTV crack design team' (do not go there, okay?) directs them on how to place the sofa in relation to the highway as a work crew from the CT Department of Transportation prepares to widen the shoulder to better accommodate the love seat and complementary recliner?
Talk about putting the rest back in rest stop.
-bill kenny

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