Place Where You Live:

Vernon-Rockville, Connecticut

It is getting closer and closer to five o’clock, and I am increasing pace to meet my deadline. I’m supposed to get all of the papers delivered before five (though I always seem to be running a few minutes late) and the rush of traffic next to me seems to echo my own sense of urgency. I jog through Kevin’s Coffee’s small parking lot, reaching the door as a bead of sweat from the summer sun slides down the bridge of my nose. The small building’s air conditioning is a welcome respite. Although I never stop to taste the wares, I return to the warmth of the day with the soothing scent of coffee beans lingering in my nostrils. Even though I’m running late, I still take a moment to watch the traffic go by.
Living next to a highway isn’t as bad is it sounds – or, at least, it wasn’t a bad experience for me and my family. Sure, sometimes it was noisy when we would have preferred the quiet, and accidents and backups were possibilities, but it was home. Six days of every seven I would make my trek around the neighborhood, travelling from one driveway to the next to deliver what I’m sure was the most important news in the universe. I might have been a lazy teenager, and groaned at the suggestion that I should leave for the half-hour route any time before four thirty-five, but the job also showed me something beautiful.
Every day I would stop halfway through delivery and watch the cars on Route 83. It was remarkable to me that each and every one of those cars was somebody going somewhere else – to work, or to the store, or to school, or to home. Hundreds of lives sprinting past in sheets of metal. They could be heartbroken, or in love, or thinking about how much they miss someone. They were alive, and I was alive, and it was truly beautiful. I would walk the rest of the route. Some things were more important than meeting a deadline.