Question 278 of 365: What is our four way stop?

There were two man roads that led into my home town: East Washington
and Bell. In the middle of town, they were one block apart but by my
house, which was off of Bell, they were at a distance of about a mile.
They are mostly responsible for making a town triangle instead of a
town square. All along these roads there are a few places that you can
cut through before they eventually intersect in town. If you are a
local, you know all of them. Some of them cut through neighborhoods
and some of them cut through businesses. One of those roads cuts
through almost nothing. It is a very insignificant road that seemingly
was only created to bisect these two important arteries of Chagrin
Falls.

On the Bell side of the road, this intersection creates a perfect
four-way stop. I say that it is perfect because each side is just far
away from one another to not see who is going to go next, but close
enough to know that they should be able to tell. People stop and then
start, while others roll right on through. All rules of the road are
understood, but there is something about this minor cut through
intersecting a major road that throws cars for a loop. Each direction
has been given even weight by the four way stop, but everyone on Bell
is aware of the right of way status that they experience elsewhere on
the road. Why should they have to stop here, when they are so close to
town. Those on East Washington don’t have to stop at the intersection
of the same road, just those on Bell.

My friends and I use to watch this four way stop from up the hill on
my friend’s porch. We would point at those who’s stutter brake across
the intersection. We would laugh at those who blocked out the blinding
afternoon sun with their hands held high. We would wonder at each loud
singer with windows rolled all the way down. And each car that passed
by was a small representation of the power of Bell and the
insignificance of the passthrough. Getting onto Bell was a neccesity,
as was stopping and waiting to see what the other cars were going to
do.

I sometimes feel like I’m on the passthrough, holding at the four-way stop.

I’m watching car after car cross over the street I’m on, continuing on
their way, noticing that I would like to join their road but not
knowing why I am still sitting there.

I know that it is my turn, but I wait as they keep on going past.

Cars come up from behind me and wait for me to go.

They start to honk their horns, but still I wait.

I wait to see what the other cars will do.

How long will they wait?

How long will I?

And as I start to accelerate and turn onto that major road, I think
about all of the apprehention that I have inflicted just by not going
when I was supposed to.

I waited until I wanted to join in.

I am four-way stopping into my future.

Posted via email from The Throughput

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