Where I'm Coming From

If I keep this up, in a year I will have spent one whole month of my life on I-95.

I commute about 120 miles a day to Miami New Times from my home in southern Palm Beach County. I know: It's a misery many of you share. That's the reason this section of Riptide exists: To give you, my co-commuters, a venue for venting, telling stories, asking questions, and all around commiserating.

In the next 12 months, I'd spend a total of 32.5, 24-hour days on the interstate. And what will I have learned?

That there will never be enough lanes. Never.

That if you speed, eventually, they will get you. (They got me for $208.)

That if you drive in the HOV lane at the wrong time of day, they will get you. (They got me for $133.50.)

That there is a small crest south of NW 103 Street beyond which, heading north, you will always encounter a static red sea of brake lights.

That the Golden Glades is murder on satellite radio reception.

Most of all, that this ribbon of slow-moving multicolored metal is, for better or worse (OK: worse), one of those places where life is lived. Bring a good book (on CD), be alone with your thoughts, fasten your seat belt, and take a deep breath. Avoid the cell phone and check your blind spots. There's simply no way around this gauntlet. Drive safe!

Got a commute from hell? A piece of driving etiquette to share? A road rage incident to talk yourself down from? Start posting! Because even as we jockey for position and give each other the finger, we can agree on one thing: I-95 sucks. -Frank Houston


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