I’m Not Driving Anymore

Well hello there! I’m John. I live in Atlanta, I work in Atlanta, and I drive in Atlanta. Every day I am one of the 340,000 cars parked on the downtown connector, that segment of road in the middle of the city that marks the spot where one day an engineer placed his finger on a map and said “Here. Here shall be the center of all human suffering.”

Twice a day, something magical happens in Atlanta on this stretch of highway. Two times a day, every citizen of Atlanta gets into his or her car and converges on this one spot. There, from behind our steering wheels, we collectively muster every ounce of fury in our bodies, every bit of hate and rage built up throughout the course of our lives, and with it we bend time itself. Five minute drives around the block become 30 minute trips at a walking pace. What normally would be a 20 minute drive home is transformed into an hour-long trek through a sea of transportation hell. And a two and a half hour span of time becomes collectively known among us all as Rush Hour. It’s something to behold, really.

But for me, that’s about to change. It’s not that I don’t enjoy this little version of our Two Minutes Hate, with the two minutes exchanged for sixty and the face of Big Brother replaced by NPR’s All Things Considered, but I need to know what else is out there.

So I’m going without a car for four weeks.

Tomorrow’s Day One, so today I’m getting all that driving out of my system. I’m actually driving as I type this. But tomorrow, I’m done for 28 days. I work downtown but live OTP, I have family and friends in Alabama I will almost certainly be visiting. My commute to work is going to involve multiple busses, trains, and at least two miles of walking. Let’s face it, this is probably going to suck. But, well… here goes.

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