Self Expression Magazine

U.S. 501 During the Morning Rush

Posted on the 20 February 2013 by Cfburch4 @cfburch4

On the first day of the Spring 2013 semester at Coastal Carolina University, I drove through fog on crowded U.S. 501. I was going to be late for an 8 a.m. class.

I had already forgotten that a school zone in my neighborhood would be busy during my departure time, thus forcing me through a mental exercise in which I had to chose between my job and maiming young children.

I certainly had forgotten to plan for thick fog on the busy stretch of U.S. 501 between Myrtle Beach and Conway.

In my anxious, introductory ramble in front of my first class (to which I had arrived with two minutes to spare), I grasped quickly for an apt description of 501.

"It's, like, where bad people go when they die," I said. "It's like limbo, or purgatory."

That hardly made sense. I was grasping for a zinger in front of a live audience, without a net.

But later, I realized I was on to something. Our local strip of U.S. 501 needs some apt similes and metaphors.

The 501 morning rush should certainly be considered like purgatory, a place of purification for misdeeds during life, with plenty of time to ponder what one should have done differently.

The 501 morning rush -- in the fog -- most definitely is like limbo because of the sense of suspension in nothingness, of going nowhere.

I'm not a Roman Catholic theologian. I should try something more familiar.

The 501 morning rush is an oxymoron, because no one is able to rush anywhere.

The 501 morning rush is like waiting at a fast-food drive-through window, because it's supposed to be fast, but it's really slow.

The 501 morning rush is not like molasses in January, because January is too damn warm around here.

The 501 morning rush is like moving a 7-year-old away from the television set -- brief start, quick stop, repeat.

The 501 morning rush is like pain: no matter how long it lasts, it's too long.

The 501 morning rush is not like going to the DMV, because DMV is relatively fast.

That's the start of my list. Do you have any?

-Colin Foote Burch

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