Saturday, October 24, 2009

Dogs in Cars

I have a preoccupation. A little motif in my life that makes me stop and smile almost daily if not more so. Dogs in cars. I see them when I go running. I see them in parking lots. While driving, they'll stare out the back windows of cars in front of me.

Why do I love them so much? These dogs in cars? Why do I find them so damned funny and satisfying? Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but I feel they make an apt metaphor for the modern human.

Modern humans find ourselves in a complicated world, at the mercy of larger processes we cannot begin to unravel, and surrounded by amazing possibilities we are incapable of unlocking.. Like the dogs in cars, modern humans are trapped in compartments of plastic, steel and glass, taken down roads we did not ask to travel, to destinations we did not choose. It's not a terrible existence. In some respects, it is a fantastic, humbling privilege - but I see a reflection of myself in these car windows.

The look on these dog's faces: either grinning obliviously ear to ear or outwardly unamused and displeased, I see it on cops on the block, the guy bagging groceries or the girl wearing headphones on the bus.

We're all dogs in cars. Patiently waiting for someone to return, put the key in this strange machine and take us home.

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