Beepbeepbeep. Beepbeepbeep. Beepbeepbeep.
Groggily pressing snooze on my phone’s alarm, I mumble about ten more minutes before getting up to no one in particular.
Begrudgingly conceding to my slavish schedule, a Red Bull snaps open – my reward for making it to the fridge without tripping over a dog toy. Twenty minutes in the bathroom later and I kiss my still sleeping girlfriend on the cheek, locking the door and leaving for the day.
I stop outside my building and stare at my car, briefly pausing to mentally stable the seething hatred stirring towards my commute. The cold isn’t helping. It’s going to be a long day.
Leaving at half-past five from Schaumburg is the only way to avoid the deadpan gridlock that seems to choke the highway veins of the telltale heart that is Chicago – be easier walking into Mordor. Remembering when I actually looked forward to driving as a kid is replaced by exacerbated frustration as I merge onto I-90. NPR says traffic is moving well.
I wonder what report they’re reading.
Pressing the accelerator to the floor and dodging between cars is a bittersweet exercise. Every car passed is another that slams on their brakes; I might as well be on the slow boat to China. Swearing under my breath and pulling around someone who can’t decide if they want to go to O’Hare or Indiana, I merge onto 294 North.
A BMW cuts me off, exiting on Dempster as I imagine a special place in perdition for rude drivers to be tortured until the end of time. Unending beeping from trucks that never finishing backing up. Trying to find a spot in a massive, Woodfield-sized parking lot. Stuck waiting forever in line at the DMV. Not exactly a magnanimous thought injected with holiday cheer, but still, I can’t help but grin.
Finally making it past Half-Day road, I traverse my exit with apathetic precision. Pulling into the office parking lot, it’s deserted as usual at this hour. Minutes later, I’m at my desk, my computer on. Opening another Red Bull, I glare outside at my car as I take a sip.
Just eight hours to go. I really hate my commute.
About the Author: Andrew Galbraith works IT by day, plays and writes about video games by night and maintains his sanity by way of his loving girlfriend and two dogs. Follow him on Twitter at @AndrewG009.