Wednesday, December 16, 2009

On the Off Ramp

I have several different routes to and from work. The variety helps relieve tedium. This habit of mine drives my wife crazy, as she likes her routes well-mapped out and consistent. I try to remember this when she's riding with me and keep to the same routes, because giving her a nice comfort level is worth it to me.

Part of my route this morning was on the interstate. After taking my exit, I had to stop for a red light at the bottom of the off ramp. I was in the outside one of the two left turn lanes. There was no car next to me for a couple of minutes, and I had a clear view of a fresh cigarette butt. I watched the smoke rising from it as it rolled away from me toward the edge of the road, and I envisioned a tumbling, fiery wreck. After all, cigarettes are dangerous -- no one but those who are ignorant of a half-century of scientific research, those who are willfully delusional, or tobacco company executives can believe differently -- just much slower in the damage they inflict. And in this mental image, I felt strangely, strangely alone.

Then, the light changed, and I came on in to the office. I think I need another cup of coffee.

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