How to be Stuck in Traffic

Life is short, why I should I be in such a hurry to get home? I was just going to sit around when I got there, which is the same thing I was doing here sitting in traffic. So I just floated, and let it ride.

 

By Lee Glazier

Frustration is contagious, ya know? It’s like mind leprosy.

Everything’s contagious, man, that’s what the Buddhists mean by emptiness. Taken together, it’s a kind of group mind, and we’re like neurons—shouting whenever we get excited.

Ya can hear the waves crashing in the car horns, dudes. That frustration spreading from one driver to the next. Everybody’s got someplace to be, and something to do. It doesn’t matter if it’s important or not, ya know, I could just be wanting to get some half and half from the corner store.

We spend a huge part of our lives waiting, man. In traffic, in checkout lanes, at concert gates or doctor’s offices. We wait for people to call, message, or do the right thing. We wait for birth, for death, to cry, eat, shag, and fart. If we wanna live the good life, Dudes, it’s good to learn how to be good waiters.

I went to Ozzy Osbourne’s farewell tour last week. It was alright, but the crowd was kind of a drag. There was never that unity feeling I usually get a concerts. Have you ever felt that? That feeling of oneness when everyone’s singing together, when everyone’s on the same page. Everyone seemed kind of distant and disengaged at this concert, and the traffic was fucking unbelievable. One of my friends was getting super pissed. We were all tired and ready to go home, ya know?

But I didn’t let it get to me, man. It was kinda cool, anyway.

All these people were just living their own lives. Total strangers were bumping elbows for that moment sharing the same situation, connected through circumstances. What are their lives like? Who are they? I’d probably be great friends or even lovers with some of them if we had the time to get to know each other.

And the cars—so many lights and colors. So much music blasting from the speakers, people sitting inside laughing with one another. The droning engines, the ridiculous sounding horns, and the halos around the street lamps cast by exhaust. Yeah, it smelled like shit, but if I’m smelling, I’m living.

I was just sitting there in a comfortable seat, going nowhere. Taking it all in, breathing and occupying the pause. Life is short, why I should I be in such a hurry to get home? I was just going to sit around when I got there, which is the same thing I was doing here sitting in traffic. So I just floated, and let it ride.

Each pause is an opportunity to meditate, Dudes—to focus on abiding.

To come to now and try to spot all those far out things the sages always talk about. It’s a clue to stop along with things, to let go of everything we were carrying when we were in motion and just chill.

And when we start moving again, maybe we can keep a little of that cool with us. I could sit for days doing nothing, Dudes. I’m the most boring man on earth. Gimme a blue sky and a stream, and I can groove for hours.

Standing in line or being stuck in traffic is the same, just takes a little tuning in to feel like it is.

 

“Dude” Lee Glazier is a Dudeist Priest, Zen adherent and Taoist enthusiast from Golden, Colorado. He likes reading, writing, hiking, taking baths, listening to classic rock, drinking White Russians, smoking, and having the occasional acid flashback. The only thing he truly believes is that everyone needs to slow down, mellow out, and unwad their underpants. He feels that that would solve all the world’s problems in a heartbeat. “Do you have the patience to let the mud settle and the water clear?”

 

Photo: Pixabay

Editor: Dana Gornall

 

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