If you did not use your logical senses and native knowledge, you would think that the highway was littered with rock-sized rubies with harsh light shining on them from far above. They gleam and flicker as the light plays innocent and naughty tricks with focus, intensity and direction.
Life moves in a deliberate slow motion in the evening traffic when you return. After a day of fast-paced micro-growth to where you want to get to, it slows down that many million times as you tire yourself further, to get some rest for tomorrow. It can be and usually is a cauldron-pour of frustration even though your self can take it no more. And resigned leaks emerge to release the overflowing vessel to make empty for more vexation to fill you up.
It is the celestial slow-down conspiracy working in your favour, as most pedlars of the new-age self-help spiritualism may have you believe. There is nothing celestial about it. It is caused by the delay in construction of a single bridge and that’s that. The only painful truth that throbs incessantly is the fatigue and numbness of your legs at the end of the day.
Most people are optimists and positive thinkers. They make use of these slow-motion frames to catch up on calling old friends or finally ‘mark-as-read’ that podcast from three months ago. They make a movie that with the audio and visual out of sync. They make it surreal by watching the film while being in it. With extreme righteous indignation, they obey the traffic violation of creating twice the allowed lanes that provide them the hope of delta speed. At the grave of the unborn bridge, they hurl curses and secretly hope that it comes to life soon. Execration and supplication seldom go hand in hand. This ruin of a monument is, however, unique like that.
Notwithstanding all that they experience, the rock-sized rubies that gleam and flicker capture their imagination. The glare hurts them no more, their eyes are numb and have evolved and adapted to what biology did not intend. As the rubies blink, they re-run their day in slow-motion and wonder what could have been and what passed. They smile at that one event and frown upon another. All the good and bad of the day syncronises with the blink of the rubies that pave the road ahead. A fractal-form movie runs in the mind of the audience that is also a character in the movie. To watch their expressions in fast-forward would be the making of the top-ranking YouTube video. All this, while absent-mindedly avoiding every pot-hole and crack; intuitively changing lanes at alternate junctions.
Five days a week they live this conflict of pace and slow-down, that keeps them in the same place.