5 mile line

virginia interstate gothic

- the right lane is closed ahead for construction. it’s the middle of the day on a tuesday but there are no construction workers. there are never any construction workers. you wonder what happened to them.

- “ten minute delay ahead” says your gps. “fifteen minutes delay ahead.” “thirty minute delay ahead.” the minutes stack up into hours and threaten to smother you. “ninety minute delay ahead.”

- you are two hours away from your destination. you are always two hours away from your destination.

- it’s dark and all you can see are brake lights. the brake lights go on for miles. are there any colors besides red and black?

- “dc line, 5 miles, 999999999999 minutes”. the nines scroll off the side of the sign and pour onto the road.

- when you reach the end of the backup, you see it was caused by a single abandoned car with its hazard lights on parked on the shoulder. you wonder who it belongs to. how long it’s been abandoned. if the owner is even still alive.

- your phone says “accident on i95-s. reported by waze”. when you reach the spot where it was supposed to be, there’s no evidence of an accident but you feel an icy chill. you turn the air conditioning down.