We left late on a Friday evening, hoping to avoid the traffic that goes by the name, "Virginia." Back when I had a car, I made the mistake of taking a field trip to Mount Vernon on a Friday afternoon and trying to get all the way to Richmond at quitting time. I thought something must have happened to clog the roads like that, and how did those cars get in the middle stripe where there weren't as many cars? It got so bad, I considered just parking and walking over the wall to see if I could find some froyo and a gun-they have those things in Virginia, right? And then it occurred to me: Some people make this drive every single day. Like, every day. They probably decide to live out in Northern Virginia in spite of the hours they have to spend in traffic to get to work in D.C., and probably not because they are all history buffs living between the capitals of the Union and the Confederacy to increase their choices when it comes to reenacting the pivotal Battle of Fredericksburg. I'm guessing, rather, they want to live in a house with a yard and fresh(er) air, and they've got these ribbons of highways that make it possible to go to work waaaay over there. Or maybe they just can't afford to live in D.C. As we idled, sped up to 25, slowed down and idled again, South Carolina seemingly just farther and farther away, I wondered what work goes into making this sort of life seem normal, a good choice from among other good choices, just "the way it is." In my classes, we call this "hegemony," but I was off the clock and went with "fucked up" instead.