I don't know if she didn't realize there was an ambulance there, or if she thought the red light was more important than the ambulance, or what the story was, but eventually she rolled down her window and started cussing at the people who were yelling at her and telling her to move.
People need to be more aware of their surroundings, I thought. When people are in their cars, there is no outside world. It's like people and their Ipods. It's even called a pod—it's intended to shut out the outside world. It was a random thought, only loosely related to the traffic-jammed ambulance.
But as the thought occurred to me, I passed a person with an Ipod. And then another. And another. At one point, the other four people walking near me all had Ipods. I saw more people with Ipods than people without, and that doesn't even include the people that had non-Ipod headphones. It was kind of scary. It's like I suddenly had the sunglasses from They Live and could see through their human disguises. Instead of seeing their revolting alien flesh, though, what I saw was hollow.
It didn't help my perception any that they all looked like yuppies.
I think I might take some canvas and safety-pin it to the back of my jacket with the following message:
Listen to the World
I understand that the sounds of the street are less-than-mellifluous. The street looks ugly, too, but I don't walk around with a Viewmaster up to my eyes. I was rewarded, in a small way, by overhearing the hearty laugh of a construction worker as I passed by, and I could only wonder at the joke he'd heard.