Saturday, February 26, 2005

on the road...

note: my appy polly loggies to jack kerouac for heartlessly stealing the title from one of his most acclaimed pieces of work, and then tacking it to this silly little uninspired literary turd. hope he's not rolling over in his grave.

last night was my first night driving deliveries on my own. my delivery area includes the base upon which i live, and lakewood.

here's a little geographic background. once upon a time, there was seattle, and there was tacoma. seattle was cool, laid back, an excellent place to hang out. tacoma was old, tired, beat down, and avoided. people from tacoma say they're from seattle. lakewood was like a suburb of tacoma, and it was an excellent place to live, if you had the money.

in the mid to late eighties, southern californians who wanted to escape the high cost of living, the smog, and annoying tv and movie stars, sold their property, and relocated to seattle to work at boeing, or the newly formed microsoft. this would've been acceptable, only to not be taxed on the money they had received for their houses in ca, they had to put it immediately into property elsewhere. so they bought houses up here for much more than they were worth on the market.

the cost of living went up exponentially across northwestern washington.

la gangs settled in tacoma, joining the already-existing asian and samoan gangs, and made what was already a place to be avoided even more dubious. a rivalry develops between seattle and tacoma. people from seattle are jetsetters, hipsters, cool. people from pierce county (represented by tacoma) are hicks, cowtippers, and rednecks with no brains.

fast forward to today. if you look at a map, there is no discernable distinction between seattle, federal way, kent, fife, and tacoma. they run together on the map, and if the names of each "burg" weren't printed every few inches, it would look like one giant city. seattle is full of people who are not from seattle (or washington state, for that matter), and tacoma has been on a year's-long project to improve it's image and make it a nicer place to live. and i spose it has worked, i just have long-standing prejudices.

and lakewood is no longer only a place for the rich.

furthermore, lakewood was planned out by people who mixed crack and lsd with absinthe while they were designing it. streets meander all over the fucking place, then stop suddenly, only to pop up later on in the town. there are about ten streets with some form of "lake" in the name. there are two 83rds, 83rd st, and 83rd ave (a funny sidenote, we have a habit around here of asigning numbers to streets instead of names--when i was a teenager, one of my recently-moved-from-ca friends told his mom, upon hearing their new address: "we're living on a freeway!!").

as a result, i got lost on every delivery i made. nothing frustrates me more while delivering than getting lost. i should be able to find my way around. and i am an eagle scout, and can read a map. until now. i have met my match in lakewood.

the cool thing was that no one to whom i delivered seemed very upset that i was running behind, and i made better tips on average than i have at any other tips job i have worked. none of my supervisors seemed overly upset that i took forever on runs, and when i was cashing out at the end of the shift, i was mentioning that i got lost on every run, and the manager asked, "you're not going to quit are you?" because they had a girl do that. work one day, get so confused by lakewood that she quit after one shift.

no, i am not going to quit. but i am going to study a map.

and back at it again tonight, o, my droogs and only friends, so wish me luck on figuring out the difficult little tangled hair-knot that is lakewood.

darth sardonic


Blogger Mme. A. said...

My husband used to deliver things around NJ, so I sympathize with your pain. And he used to get lost, especially when the owner of the bakery used to give him the directions. My husband is weird, it's as if he had a GPS implanted in his brain. While he never gets lost while driving, I never get lost when in NYC -- and he doesn't understand a fucking thing there. But that is not the subject, let's go back. So... He used to get lost and get really pissed off, so I understand you. And take your time, you will see how it gets worse. Wait for the big snow storms, the frozen roads, the holidays... Oh, such joy in delivering.

I used to go with him many times, after that, I understood when sometimes he complained that didn't want to take me out because he was tired of driving.


8:10 AM  
Blogger darth sardonic said...

we don't really get much snow here. and when we do, everything gets shut down.

but i used to deliver in north pole alaska. so snow and frozen roads are really no big deal to me.

darth sardonic

8:33 AM  

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