Short Story: The Road to Hell is Paved with Concrete

If the road to Hell is a highway, it’s like I-90 into Chicago on a Friday night in July. Everyone and their mother is heading into the city while 24/7 construction means constant merging and cursing other drivers. Not to mention, you are now thirty minutes late to dinner with your soon-to-be ex-wife and it’s not like she needs any more ammunition after she caught you in the pool house with the maid. Yup, it’s a lot like that.

How do I know this? I work in a toll booth on the way to the gates. You thought working in a toll booth was the worst conceivable job in the world? Try doing it in Hell. It’s a whole bunch of “Where am I?” and “Where are we going” and “Hey babe, want to let me see what’s under that vest?” As you would imagine, we get tons of assholes through here.

They tell you the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. A paradox, in it’s own way, that good intentions somehow end up in disaster. It makes you wonder if bad intentions can have good outcomes, or if we’re all fucked from the beginning. Well, let me be the first to tell you it’s not paved with any kind of intentions. It’s just cracked concrete. There aren’t even nice grass meridians or anything. Just a whole lot of grey, chopped up with dotted yellow lines.

The truth is, I don’t know what led these people here. Lines and lines of cars filled with sinners and evil-doers – whatever you want to call them – but they’re still just people. I couldn’t tell you what paved their paths to this wasteland. I sit here and watch thousands of dead eyes stare, terrified, at the blackness at the end of road, unable to stop themselves from moving forward. I get a lot of question, but most often I just hear “What did I do to deserve this?” I don’t know the answer. Was it good intentions? Were you an asshole who cheated on your wife with the maid? How should I know? It’s above my pay grade.

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