January 1987. I work as a reporter in Hudson County, New Jersey. The day started under the threat of a thunderstorm, but we covered the city council meeting as planned. The snow waits until the morning rush is over before it falls hard and fast. People panic and clog roads before salting and plowing can dent them.
After the meeting, the usual 15-minute drive back to the newsroom turns into an hour. I hurriedly file the story and he heads home around 3:00, which is normally a 45 minute drive. A push is required just to get the Chevette out of the parking space.
Much of Hudson County forms a peninsula bounded by the Hudson and Hackensack Rivers and Newark Bay, with only a few roads leading in and out. By official order or simple paralysis they all shut down. This is the first time I’ve ever been in a real traffic jam. The first leg of my trip usually takes 5-10 minutes, but it takes 4 hours. At one point, I was creeping to the tip of a wedge passing through the oddly angled intersection of U.S. 1 and his 9. Frequent stops are long enough for me to turn off the car, get out and walk around.
When you finally reach NJ 3, jagged ice sheets are littered with abandoned cars. A local entrepreneur walks down the street selling snacks and water from boxes. I’m buying The only thing worse than applying pressure is joining someone who has given up. did. I get home eight hours after leaving the office.
The next day I’m back at work and Route 3 in particular looks post-apocalyptic. Peeking into the conference room in the newsroom, I saw a toe-up boot on the table, attached to a sleeping colleague during a visit to a local dive bar last night. I later learned that he punched the editor-in-chief during a fight over the car keys.
Posted By: Flying Stitch
Leave a Comment