Trafficking Epiphany

Sometimes life is like trying to take a left-hand hand turn at the Devil’s intersection.

So I was stuck in traffic today and had an epiphany. I’m not sure why my epiphanies happen during the most mundane moments. Maybe that’s the norm. I don’t know, I’m not an expert on epiphanies. I can barely manage to keep my troglodyte brain lumbering along to complete life’s necessary functions, so any upper echelon thought I have is a welcome and surprising change of pace.


I had a bad day today. I slept like shit, mainly because Will repeatedly woke up during the night. It would’ve been OK if he was having an epiphany too, but I doubt that was the case. If it was, his epiphanies involve copious amounts of urine and screaming. So as we’re trudging along getting ready for work and school, MJ and I both smelled smoke. Burning of any kind is bad enough, but it was the second time in as many days we smelled it. We thought it was the dryer yesterday so we unplugged it and it seemed to go away. But this morning it was much, much stronger. And soon the pantry was getting smoky.

Turns out we were on the verge of an electrical fire because of an electrical problem related to the hot water heater. I found smoke billowing up from the box at which point I flipped the breaker and called the fire department. Minutes later I had three of Bourne’s finest searching my walls for hot spots. They didn’t find any, but they told me there’s definitely some sort of problem and I should call the electrician.

At that point I cringed. Hard. Not just because I had to miss work and shell out money, but because the money I’d be shelling out was supposed to be for a last-minute trip tomorrow night. MJ and I are celebrating our 5-year anniversary. Well, scratch that. We WERE going away to celebrate our 5-year anniversary. Now we’re going to have a modest dinner somewhere. Bummer.

Speaking of putting out fires, today was the day we took the unpleasant but necessary step to deal with our financial woes. MJ was told only one of us had to sign papers, but she was given misinformation. Which meant I had to haul my ass 25 minutes in each direction right in the middle of all this madness.

And oh yeah, did I mention we have my grandfather’s memorial service tomorrow?

So on my way back from admitting financial defeat, after getting no sleep and almost having my kitchen catch on fire the day before a funeral, it was safe to say I was in a pretty bad mood. The proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back was finding myself stuff at a hellish intersection with no traffic light near the center of Plymouth.

Every single time I tried to inch my way out into traffic I had to jam on the brakes because of oncoming cars. A few times I thought I could lurch out quickly but no one was letting me in and I had to stomp on the brakes and then back up quickly to avoid being T-boned.

On and on it went. No one would let me in and the line of cars in both directions looked endless.

I’ve been through a lot in the last year. Job stress, MJ’s health, losing a pregnancy, three daycares, loved ones dying, etc. And yet my most intense freak-out came at the intersection of Route 44 & Allerton Street when I couldn’t take a left-hand turn.

I started screaming at the cars. Swearing, spitting, foaming at the mouth type of stuff. Punching the ceiling, the passenger seat…letting out primal aggression and frustration in the only way I could think of at the time. It only lasted 15-20 seconds but it felt like an eternity. Then, after five minutes of being stuck there, someone stopped and let me in. Just like that. I made the left, hit the gas and I was going again.

(Cue the epiphany music)

My life is stuck at an awful intersection right now. I’m not gonna sugarcoat it or try to look at the bright side, because it really does suck. Don’t get me wrong, I’m lucky I have my wife and my son, but I’m kind of a hot mess at the moment. Broke, frustrated, sanity cascading away like water over the falls. And I can’t see a break in traffic for 1,000 miles in either direction.

But somebody’s gonna let me in. I may have to peel out and burn some rubber, but my break is coming. I think a good bulk of my unhappiness stems from losing sight of the little things that make life fun. Like Will’s crazy mannerisms, alone time with MJ and the high I’d almost forgotten from exercise. So I’m going to start enjoying life instead of tolerating it.

Well, you know… right after the funeral tomorrow and the anniversary celebration that is now taking place in our living room instead of a hotel spa.

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9 thoughts on “Trafficking Epiphany

  1. I’m truly sorry that life is on the down slope right now for you and I appreciate your ability to share that here so well. I will take from this a damn good reminder for all of us – “I’m going to start enjoying life instead of tolerating it.” I’m also glad you got to finally make that friggin left.

  2. Totally totally totally understand where you are coming from. And yes it is time to definitely enjoy life. Best wishes to you and MJ for a Happy Anniversary!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Thank you for writing this piece. It is almost bringing me to tears because I definately felt like I was alone in my situations, financial and so on. I can now just wait to get where you are and realize the smaller things that I should be appreciating. Happy Anniversary to you and your wife!

  4. I know that intersection, I have been stuck there so long it feels like I live there!

  5. As I read your post, I kept nodding. I’m right at that intersection you’re at. It does truly suck. I’m not sure anyone will let me in. I don’t have much faith right now. But, it feels less lonely when you know you’re not the only one in the same situation.

    Happy Anniversary to you and MJ.

  6. I hope you and MJ can spend a nice time together even if it is in your living room. And I hope celebrating your marriage will be a good start on your promise to enjoy life. I’m pulling for you man. Bettter times are definitely ahead.

  7. Having read this post after some of your more recent posts I can’t help but feel like maybe that opening in the traffic was a foreshadowing of things to come to your family.

    Wishing you all the best, its rough at times but you’ll get there. Remember: “Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming…”

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