26 June 2010

Greener Grass – Are Things Really Better In Baltimore County?

Today I had to run an errand near Towson. Heading up York Road from the Bunker in north east Baltimore, I was incensed by the level of traffic congestion and the snail slow pace of forward progress (traffic that is). By now I should be used to going no where fast, this is after all Baltimore City.

For years, I travelled about almost strictly by bicycle. These days due to work and business obligations, not to mention security considerations, such travel is almost impossible for me.

As I bounced about the bone jarring, teeth rattling, rutted out, pot-hole strewn thoroughfare, so typical for what passes as a main road in Baltimore, I couldn’t help but think; it’s gotta be better than this, somewhere, somehow.

Soon I realized part of the problem. Funerals. Not one, but two funerals, less than a mile apart, on the same road. That’s enough to jam up any travel.

I couldn’t help but think of the further irony. With the level of killing that is commonplace in this city, combined with all the natural and accidental deaths; Baltimore is constantly burying it's dead. It's just part of the rhythm that is life in charm city. A place where R.I.P. t-shirts are a common fashion statement, not to mention a cottage industry. A place where street side memorials are often the only place where flowers are seen in a neighborhood.

After feeling the muscles in my neck begin to tense so tight, I thought they’d snap like a rubber band pulled beyond it’s limit; suddenly I realized there was no more traffic congestion. No more riding the brakes, no more being nervous I might hit someone as pedestrian after pedestrian just dart out in front the car playing chicken. The road under my wheels felt remarkably smooth, I thought I was floating on air.

Was I delirious, dreaming, drunk or high? No, I’d just crossed over into Baltimore County.

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A.F. James MacArthur has never resided in Baltimore County.



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