a honk is not the same as a beep

During morning rush hour, the intersection of route 28 and land boulevard is perilous on a good day. Huge trucks rumble into the city beside speeding compacts, irreverent SUVs, and tense bicyclists. Pedestrians are an afterthought, scurrying across worn crosswalks with the walk signal, or without it.
On Monday, the sound of a car horn — not unusual by any means where the traffic signal is short and temperaments shorter — joined the gridlocked mayhem. At first, it sounded as if someone was leaning for an especially long period on his or her horn, but soon, everyone began to turn and look; the car horn would not cease. Either someone was especially pissed, or something was amiss. As traffic started to move again, the sound got closer to where I stood, until a tan Jeep Cherokee with New York plates rolled past. I could see the driver through the passenger side window, and he/she was definitely not leaning on the horn. Instead, both hands were clutching a cell phone, no doubt dialing for help, or maybe just some sympathy.

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