Tuesday, October 23 , 2018, 7:22 am | Fog/Mist 54º

 
 
 

She Said, Z Said: Repaving Highway 101 is a Highway to Heaven

Smooth cravings for a free way lie just beneath the surface for rattled motorists

Z: I feel like I’m falling in love all over again.

She: That’s so sweet.

Z: Not with you, silly.

She: Where do we keep the shotgun?

Z: I’m falling back in love with the freeway. Driving on the freshly paved southbound Highway 101 is like floating on the bosoms of liberty.

She: You’ve obviously been nipping at the vodka.

Z: It’s a smooth, obsidian stretch of endlessly forgiving hard pack. The freshly repaved 101 is like an iPhone, all sleek surfaces and tactile provocation

She: It’s a road.

Z: It’s a flat stairway to heaven. It’s the promise of modern machinery. It’s a trail of laughter and deep, bass jazz undulating down the coast toward the thrill of West Coast freedom.

She: Did you hit your head on something?

Z: I’ve written a haiku. Freeway freeway free / ebony onyx jet path / you drive me happy

She: Been sucking on too much carbon monoxide?

Z: Maybe. It may also be the comparison between what it was and what it finally is. Even just two weeks ago it was the highway to hell.

She: True. I was afraid to drive in the fast lane because I thought my wheels might fall off.

Z: It was a nightmare or ruts, hellport potholes and trenches. That may be why I’m waxing so rhapsodic now.

She: There were so many potholes I was starting to think that they were put there on purpose; another traffic calming measure like the roundabouts.

Z: But traffic lingers nevermore. O free freeway of my heart, you make me smile like the grille on a Cadillac.

She: I’m guessing a few cars had their tailpipes busted off and dumped a fog of exhaust into your brain.

Z: More likely than not. The 101 has been a nightmare. I had a carefully planned pattern of lane switching to avoid street rubble on my nightly drive home.

She: It’s not like the construction process made it better.

Z: Not in the interim. That’s when they grind down parts of the street to even things out.

She: It also freaked me out when they only had one or two lanes paved. It felt like I was falling off a curb every time I changed lanes.

Z: It did confirm something that Koss was worried about.

She: The boy was stressing about the freeway?

Z: That’s my kid. He was worried about what will happen in 100 years after repeated repaving.

She: Given the delayed scheduling of this most recent work, I’m guessing that’s one more paving.

Z: Or two. In any case, he was worried that if they keep repaving it, at some point we will be driving 10 feet higher than we are now. I told him not to worry, because the pavement’s not that thick.

She: But you were wrong. It’s at least an inch or two.

Z: I know. We also figured that it must be pretty thick when we noticed that they ground out the old pavement under all the overpasses — so that the height limit wouldn’t change.

She: How did you finally address his fears?

Z: Flying cars. They’re always about 50 years in the future, so we’re pretty sure this is the solution.

She: Ah yes, The Jetsons theory of transportation. An oldie but a goodie.

Z: Now that they’re finished with most of the southbound paving, I can’t wait for the northbound to be done.

She: Until then, I’m only driving south. Going north just isn’t worth it.

Z: And when they do finally finish? I’m thinking a full sonnet. Maybe even an ode.

She: Yes, dear.

— Care to wax rhapsodic about the beautifully paved freeway? Tell She and Z by e-mailing .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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