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Yesterday. Walked back up Rouse Road. Stood back and looked at this lone warning that the intersection you're approaching is setup as an automated traffic trap. This one lone sign, up high, and far back from the road, is unreadable unless you happen to be sitting in traffic a good ways back from the intersection, which does occur late in the afternoon, between 5 and 6pm, as everybody streams to head back home. But otherwise you don't see this sign at all, unless you're out walking down the sidewalk.
Sitting in the burger joint you see an old and stained parking lot that's been here nearly forever. Who knows how many times the place has been re-designed since it was first built. But it's empty on the inside, just a few customers. Instead you see car after car pass by from picking up the lunches from the drive-through window. Car after car, usually just one person in each car. Students in beat-up Hondas, soccer moms in over-sized late-model SUVs, managers in Lexuses and Beemers and what-have-you, and the occasional odd-ball car that doesn't fit into any category.
On the way out you pass the little planted Home Depot garden specials, a little limp color to break up the monotony of cypress ground cover and painted-and-stuccoed concrete walls next to the parking lot. As the heat rises during the day, as the asphalt in the parking lot raises the temperature another 10° to 20°, hte flowers and the leaves wilt further and further. Maybe if the plants are lucky a hidden sprinkler will come to life later in the evening and give it enough water that it can recover for the next day. Or maybe it will wilt and finally die in a few days. A morbid science experiment.
Siting in traffic at the ligths you find yourself boxed in by vehicles larger than you like buses and trucks. I look out the driver's side and see this UCF shuttle like some traveling abstract painting. It's been in service for a while; the school colors are showing the signs of bleaching in the sun, the panels are cracking at the odd place due to day-to-day wear and tear, the paint carries the brush marks of all those automated washes they send the buses through to keep them clean.


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