Fahrvergnügen

It’s an hour drive from the “The” Woodlands to the Reliant Stadium if you’re a Coloradoan in a Dodge Caliber with a GPS and fair degree of competence at safe highway conduct. However, as I mentioned earlier, nothing about Colorado prepares you for driving in a city like Houston.  Forget that Denver would fit inHouston’s back pocket; everything is bigger in Texas, right?  Colorado probably produces some of the country’s best inclement weather drivers, I’m sure. InTexas when the ice-storms hit, the population goes to ground in bomb shelters where in like conditions in Colorado we’d still drive with the windows down.  And yet, the entire experience might as well be on another planet.

 

You’ve probably heard stories about how people from {wherever} drive like maniacs, or people from {wherever else} drive like nearsighted old people on Xanax, and I’m pretty sure it’s all true, even when its completely contradictory.  But what I’ve never heard anyone say is how the civil planning sculpts drivers into the maniacs that they are.  Nowhere in Denver have I found 50MPH fly-overs from which a loss of control would land you in the fourth or fifth story of an office building, where you can pass literally between buildings in a concrete canyon straight out of cyberpunk sci-fi and wave at a girl in pumps and a suit-skirt running the copier or the board meeting, or where 65MPH 4-lanes end by becoming four distinct highways going in four distinct directions and if you miss your turn, you’re part of a cinder block wall.  It’s surreal.  And pretty cool to do at night when everyone else is speeding too.

 

What I failed to fathom on any level is how there are any streets through the metroplex.  It turns out they’re all under the highways, they seldom see any kind of sunlight, the mushrooms there grow up to be bouncers at nightclubs, and any number of controlled substances can be found in the drainage residue.  I’m not going to badmouth Houston by calling it scummy and crime-laden; everyone knows that.  I will definitely insinuate that the civil engineering that makes navigating Houston what it is could only have been the product of inducements, political bargaining, and labor union strikes.

 

I am happy for having had the experience of frantically pulling the steering wheel this way and that along the journey and for taking the time to blaze across a huge city, seeing it do its city-thing, gleaming in that big city way, decadent, indifferent, playfully cruel, and basically a brilliant panoply of schizophrenic concrete corridors.