the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Carpool Lane

I am enjoying writing posts on my iPhone. They tend to be short, snapshots of half-baked ideas, complete with amusing errors from the spell-checker, passages with no literary value.

I am sitting in the waiting room of Sophia’s therapist, dragged along at the last minute as the live carpool dummy, so she could make her appointment in time. She drove the car, because I hate to drive in the carpool lane during heavy traffic. I become unsettled at the speed that you can drive in contrast to the bumper-touching stillness of those stuck in a automobile rut.

I like the gentle slowness of traffic. I like to linger and watch people, to wink at the pretty girls in their Volvos, all impossible to do when you are careening forward in the far lane, like a bobsledder in the winter olympics, dangerously navigating the curvy, snake-like path against the dividing wall.

I let her drive fast. I would rather drive slow, even in fast-paced Los Angeles, another sign of our incompatibility.

I put my ear to the wall to see if I can hear her speaking with her therapist. Is she talking about me? I hope so.


  1. Alison

    Neil, this is so poignant. Thanks for sharing it.

  2. All Adither

    I’m with you on the driving. Slow and steady wins the race.

  3. Juli Ryan

    I wonder if all couples are like this, more or less. My husband used to be a courier, and he drives like Scott Dixon. I am a granny on the road.

  4. sassy

    I hate that kind of driving as well, but we don’t have carpool lanes here, in the boonies. As for the iphone posts, this is the first one I have seen and I honestly thought it was simply beautiful.

  5. SciFi Dad

    I think “Live Carpool Dummy” would be a cool blog title.

    (Also, as I read the first sentence of the second paragraph, I wondered, “Wait… what? She needs a dummy for her therapist appointment? What the hell kind of therapy is she in?”)

  6. V-Grrrl @ Compost Studios

    Life put on hold so someone else’s life can careen forward at top speed. Too bad you don’t have a therapist. They would find your life as a “carpool dummy” very interesting.

  7. Quadelle

    There’s just so much in this post. Short certainly doesn’t mean of no literary value. Far from it.

  8. this new place

    I totally don’t miss L.A.

  9. Karl

    I wrote a blog post on my iPhone once. ONCE. I don’t have it in me to be succinct. And typing on the iPhone isn’t something I enjoy doing for half an hour. Perhaps I’ll give this a try, though.

  10. Finn

    I’m liking these too. Perhaps I shall acquire this idea as I’ve been so busy lately…

  11. girlvaughn

    “Is she talking about me? I hope so.”

    wow. that totally choked me up.

  12. Titanium

    Those last two sentences nailed my feet to the floor.

  13. Danny

    Note to self: less is more–love this short post! Except it would’ve taken me about three hours to write it on an iPhone.

    P.S. Since you were there, did you consider having a joint session with Sophia?

  14. Dana

    “I am enjoying writing posts on my iPhone. They tend to be short, snapshots of half-baked ideas, complete with amusing errors from the spell-checker, passages with no literary value.”

    This is what all good writing, and reading, should be.

  15. 180|360

    I’m loving these short iPhone posts, too. They are like concise illustrations in a nutshell.

  16. Gwen

    Oh, Neil. I just want to hug you right now. And I’m not even a hugger. Is that the response you’re looking for? You probably don’t even know.

    Blogging on the iPhone? I’ve got 2 weeks till the Internet is set up–I may need to try it.

  17. mamie

    i like the iphone posts. i like this one a lot. i also tend to like the carpool lane as it means we spend less time with two maniac toddlers in the car….they do not really like the car. if it were just tim and i the traffic might be welcome, gives me time to knit.

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