By no means am I a mammal of routine, but my 1st month at my new job conditioned me into a routine man-whore. The setup was perfect. I usually woke up in the morning around 8ish, showered, put my clothes on, and headed out to embark on my 2.02 mile commute to work. Yeah, that’s right. 2.02 miles. The gasoline crunch doesn’t seem to hit home as hard when your commute to work can literally be traversed by foot. But I will say this, I deserved this ridiculously short commute – I used to drive an hour (each way) in traffic from Lawrenceville to my old job. I sometimes would have to fill up gas twice a week. I can now revel in my shorter and less stressful trip to work.
Picture this: being able to go from rolling out of bed to showering to arriving at your cozy cubicle – all in the span of a half hour – and only 5 minutes of that is spent on the road. I, my friends, had it great – but I knew it would soon be at an end. When I started my new gig, they told me that the engineers were planning on moving to another building – one that was about 6 miles north of our old one. At first, I thought it was a great idea. The old office is exactly that: old. But, after working there for a little over a month, I became accustomed to it and the other folks working it it. I loved the short commute and the ease of not having to deal with traffic (I-85 is a evil concoction from hell). It’s kind of like the movie “300”; before I would head out on I-85 in the chaotic midst of rush hour, I would think, “Tonight…we drive..in HELL!”. But now, I find myself having my infinitesimal commute quadrupled (from 2 miles to almost 9). I know, I know – what the hell am I bitching about? It really ain’t no big deal, but the ridiculous convenience of living so hilariously close to work is a plush luxury I will sorely miss. But it ain’t so bad, I got a co-worker who drives from Elijay to work everyday (a 70 mile commute). I can’t even suffice a chuckle at that.
Even now, I think that I live extremely close to work. As I peruse through the mean streets of the A for a condo, I increasingly find myself valuing proximity to work. I think it matters tremendously if you live close to work. Even at my old job (the fuse), I lived less than 10 miles from work. Living that close to work has immeasurable benefits. I think that my heart may want to get a condo in Midtown, but my mind knows that the closer I am to work, the infinitely better. You never know how good you could have it, until you get it. Those who underestimate the benefits of living close to their professional abode must have never done so. Especially considering the gluttony of these obese gasoline prices. $4+. Wow. When George W. took office, gas was at a national average of $1.47/gallon. It almost feels like I’ve never seen sub-$2 gasoline in my lifetime, but it’s only been less than a decade since we’ve had it. I have very little faith in the government being able to do anything to reverse this trend. I am fairly certain that we will see gas top the $6 mark. The gas pump has bent us over and pushed our shit in (for lack of a less vulgar and obscene analogy). And the harsh reality is that it won’t rest to ease our pain or comfort us in our time of need, it will keep ravaging us like a maniacal savage. We are at the mercy of the gasoline gods.
This is why I want to purchase a condo that is within walking distance of most necessities. A condo that is within walking distance of a grocery store, a park, and bars/restaurants. A place where my vehicle gets as little use as possible. I think that I am willing to sacrifice a shorter commute to work so that I can live somewhere where establishments are within walking distance. I think if that scenario comes to fruition, things will balance out more or less. But, I am cognizant of how fortunate my circumstances are in this current episode of my life. Engineering has helped me manufacture a decent life for myself, especially in these economically challenging times. For that, I am in debt to my profession. I know that there are folks who are struggling tenfold more than I am. Those are the people that I am genuinely worried about. I think that my degree has given me a bit of a cushion to protect myself from the economic crunch, but what about those who don’t have as savory of situations? Like my folks. Thank God they’re Guju and they save more than Jesus. These are turbulent times for Americans right now. I fear what lies ahead for us. Let’s hope that one of these presidential candidates has our best interests in mind – or we may inextricably find ourselves yearning for lean times like these. I write that with a straight and solemn face. Hopefully, we (The Divided States of Hipocrisy) can get our collective shit together.
I started working at the new office yesterday, so my ridiculously close proximity to work is but a distant memory faded away in the clutter of the professional grind. I promised myself I wouldn’t cry…
I bid adieu to my 2.02 mile commute to work. Never have I loved so unconditionally and so intensely – and I fear I never again will. This is but a remorseful sonnet in the book of my professional existence.