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Let Him Take The Wheel

Story ID:4117
Written by:Michael Timothy Smith (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:New York NY USA
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Let Him Take The Wheel

The Real Driver

I worked at a job forty-eight miles from my home. Five days a week, I stood in
the shower and listened to the traffic report on our shower radio. One morning I heard,
"There's a two mile backup on the New Jersey Turnpike." I groaned. The announcer
continued. "We have an overturned tracker trailer at exit 12. Traffic heading south is a
mess. If you can find an alternate route, I suggest you take it."

I didn't know the highways well enough. There were no alternate routes for me.
My morning commute was a long one.

After a grueling day at work, my day ended. I started my car, turned on the radio,
and listened to the traffic report again. "There's a car accident on the 'Cross Bronx
Expressway'. If you're travelling north on the I-95 into New York City, you can expect
trouble. The New Jersey Turnpike Authority is reporting ninety minute delays inbound
at the George Washington Bridge. There are three-mile lineups on both the I-95 and the

I called Ginny. "Don't expect me soon, Hun. There's an accident. The bridge is a

"I'm sorry, baby." She responded. "Just be careful. I love you!"

We hung up.


We live near the G. W. Bridge, as it is known here. Five major highways and a
couple smaller ones converge there. If there is an accident, I'm stuck. Traffic on the
sixteen-lane, two-level, bridge comes to a halt. Ten-mile lengths of cars are not
uncommon. Commuters fight for every inch they can get. Some drive in the break-
down lanes to cut an few minutes off their trip. They come to an overpass and cut back
in. Horns sound. Hand gestures are made. Drivers, behind closed windows, shout nasty
unheard words.

I sit and wait in the lane I need to be in. Others move down the left lanes and
try to pull into mine. I refuse to let them in. I waited, they should have waited too. I
grow frustrated and blow my horn, like all the other drivers their anger contagious.

I get home. I'm tense. It takes me thirty minutes to relax.

It's all behind me now. I have a job in Manhattan. My wife drives me to the
G. W. Bridge and drops me off. I get on a bus, cross the bridge, and get on the subway.
I'm at work in an hour. There's no stress. I sit, relax, read my book, and put my worries
in the hands of the driver.

My life is the Jersey Turnpike. I try to drive myself, but I get stuck in a jam. I
grow frustrated. My life was a traffic jam. For more than forty years, I travelled the same
road. I finally put my life in the hands of another driver. I put my faith in "Him". "God"
drives me where I need to go now. I sit, relax, read, and put my worries in the hands of
the real driver.

Michael T. Smith