Rain Delay



Woke up to the sound of rain. It started sometime during the night and continued steadily into the mid-morning; when I left the house it was still coming down steadily.

I headed in the direction of campus leaving early enough to compensate (I believed) for the uncertainty of Los Angeles drivers who are unaccustomed to driving in wet and rainy conditions. I did not, however, leave early enough to compensate for the freeway flooding: all lanes, both directions, one block north of my usual entrance ramp.

Approaching the intersection, it was possible to tell that traffic was already backed up due to the rain. A line of cars stretched back from the traffic signal for nearly half a mile giving me ample time to get a good look at the freeway, realize that it wasn’t moving, confirm this diagnoses with the traffic report on the radio, and decide on an alternative route. I felt very clever indeed.

An hour later, I still hadn’t reached the flooded intersection- even on surface streets. After waiting at the same traffic light through three different green lights, I decided to break away from my planned route. By this time I was already late. Traffic had been at a standstill long enough for me to email the student assistant for the class to let her know I would be running late, but I didn’t have the foggiest idea of how long it would take for my estimated time of arrival. Feeling that I had done everything within my power to adjust for the situation and communicate about my lateness, I was forced to accept that I was just going to be late.

There was plenty of time to ruminate on this idea. Was this happening for some purpose that would become apparent later? Was this just bad luck? Was this a sign of how the rest of my day was likely to go? The rain stopped. The clouds lightened. The sun came out. I eventually made it to campus and the routine began to click into place as a normal day.


~ by Gwydhar Gebien on September 15, 2015.

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