Traffic this morning on 580 West is at a dead stop. Not merely the kind of stop where you turn off your engine, but the kind of stop where you can get out and take a little walk if so choose. There’s a big accident on the Richmond/San Rafael Bridge – apparently involving a big rig and several cars – and both lanes are blocked. Happened about an hour or so ago.
Traffic was still moving very slowly a while, but I reckon those were the folks who were trying to make a break for the last exit before the bridge. Perhaps they were going to take one of the really long (20 mile or so) detours, or stop and have breakfast at any of our fine dining establishments here in Point Richmond, or just plain give up. But, now that that they have moved on, all that are left are those who have decided to accept their fate and wait it out.
People are getting out of their cars. Some just standing. Some getting something out of the trunk. And others have formed a group. Is this an angry mob? They seem pretty animated. Oh wait, they’re laughing. What’s this? Two guys are headed towards each other? Are fisticuffs about to break out? Oh, he’s just handing the other guy his cell phone. More clusters of two or more people are forming, all looking very friendly. For what is probably a very frustrating situation, people seem pretty calm.
Sure, they have ever right to curse the heavens, Cal-Trans and the Highway Patrol. I mean, all their well laid plans have gone awry. They have places to go, people to see, for cryin’ out loud. But, instead, they are at a dead stop on the freeway. The smart ones, the ones who have opted not to add to their suffering, seemed to have just accepted the situation and are taking the opportunity to share a laugh with some strangers or to help out the guy in the next car.
I’ve been feeling a little downhearted about the state of the world lately. But, between the CA Supreme Court ruling yesterday striking down the ban on gay marriage, and the calm, patient drama outside my window, maybe things aren’t so bad after all.