• Vol. 10
  • Chapter 10

All Over Town

All over town people are spilling out of cars. They just get out without looking, step out onto the street, in traffic, they cross roads without looking left or right or any way. All day, all over town, it’s the same: People in cars driving recklessly, parking on sidewalks, speeding in front of schools, not slowing down for speed bumps, flying over the speed bumps and landing with a clunk back on the asphalt. And traffic? Is traffic the same or worse than usual? Who can tell anymore. There are lines, and cars bumper to bumper in all the main streets three or four times a day. A symphony of horns and swears and too loud music. A modern city opera full of drama and pathos and no real resolution. No climax, no final act, just a short nightly reprieve when most people retreat to their houses and then in the morning it all starts up again. And what about the houses? All over town you can see them, the houses with their front yards and the pretty trees and their cute metal gates. The fences not too tall, white and gray and the color of metal. Lemon trees, and palm trees and flowers and jasmine. You can see how once, not too long ago, the yards were used: for sitting, for neighbors’ and family visits, for afternoon coffee and early dinners and kids’ birthday parties, for eating watermelon and halloumi, and souvlakia on summer nights with the TV on the porch, facing outside. But now no one uses them anymore. Now the yards are always empty because of the car traffic. All over town the people are spilling out of cars as if they no longer care enough to protect themselves, as though they are finally so full of poisoned air they can no longer think fully. What are you doing? A woman screams at her husband from the passenger side. Why are you slowing down? Keep driving!