Capital Beltway Before 6 A.M.? Can You Say “Noir”?

Saturday morning….time to rummage through the box’o weeks worth of “wtf’s” and “hurrays” and etched on grimaces of “damn!” and “cool!” cuz ya know, it’s TToT time. I guess you could say it’s tea time :D…

…been many an hour since I hit the Beltway on my morning commute. In the dark. Before 6:00 a.m.  I refer to driving the Washington DC Capital Beltway at that hour as “cowboy” driving. Why? Excluding the 2 express lanes to the left (if you’re not in ’em, they don’t count), you’ve got a solid 4 lanes (don’t count the oncoming/outgoing lanes unless one or more cars in those lanes appear to be driving into you) of traffic.

When traffic is “light” (rush hour in a smaller city) and vehicles of a number that allows for “free range” driving (driving at speed and above!) pretty much all bets are off. Speed is a factor… for everyone. I admit to hitting speeds 15 miles (or so) over the speed limit. (btw, I don’t want to confuse anyone with “video game” driving which only occurs during evening commuting hours.) This morning was no exception. Who needs caffeine when you’re “cowboy” driving?

I walked out of the morning routine and the front door into the crisp embrace of dry, 30 something degree air. Lifting my head I looked up, around and marvelled at the brightly starred sky cradling the night’s crescent moon. Tilted ever so slightly, it appeared to recede reluctantly, not wanting to give in to the earth’s rotation.

With a double click, car doors were open, bags and body in.. I took my place behind the wheel and strapped myself in with not a clue as to what would transpire in the next 30 minutes.

I don’t know if it was the speed at which I was driving combined with the headlights of oncoming traffic on the other side of the highway or the glare of headlights behind me…but there came a weird, odd moment when I realized, felt myself, traveling in another place and time. Did time just suspend itself?

Metal box on wheels and me? One and the same. Glancing in the rearview, I left Tyson’s Corner, billboard bright office buildings consuming the skyline with it’s rush of human traffic, it’s busy, busy let me on, let me off, ramps…behind. In pre-dawn silence the bright, whitewashed lane markers splashed onto new blacktop rushing by so fast my eyes were transfixed. And it was so-o-o quiet (yes, even with the radio on). It was the quiet of pre-dawn…

I swear I might have been driving with David Lynch riding shotgun. He’s the first one that came to mind…can’t quite find the words to express the total “noir” of the moment, of that morning 🙂 But I was convinced, I knew, my body knew, what it was these guys of the “noir” genre of filmmaking were all about. Cool.

Now how’s about those thankfuls….

1) New Quentin Tarantino movie out Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve! The Hateful Eight. Samuel L. as a cowboy! Yeegads! Can’t wait!! 😀

2) New Coen Brothers movie out February 3, 2016!! “Nuff said.

3) A reliable car in which to enjoy any and all types of driving no matter where (or when) I am!

4) The generosity of friends and family!

5) The weather. Again, it appears, with the exception of this weekend, that atypical warm will be with us for the upcoming holiday!

6) Reminders….of cirmcumstance. How it boils down to one’s perspective!

7) the Wakefield Doctrine (#6 was totally an unintentional segue into this one, I swear!)

8) Music!

9) An invitation to go to Christmas Eve mass (that totally came out of left field!)

10) Today! My only day.