On a recent day trip to Chicago, I observed a pervasive mood of impatience and anger. Weary of the wastelands of cornfields I had driven through, at first I relished the city's crush of cars and humanity. Yet, parsing the cacophony, I noticed horn-blowing was constant to the point of absurdity. Any driver's minor mistake was met by ruthless honking from ten directions. Impatient taxis seemed to demand the death of pedestrians, honking at cars who refused to run over them at crosswalks. Meanwhile, the sidewalks were turbulent rivers of humans in hurries, all of whom looked annoyed at having to dodge the rocks and rapids of each other. Annoyed myself, by day's end I regarded rudeness not as a trait of Chicagoans but as the inevitable result of living in cities, where everyone is always in your way.
We cannot live happily apart from our fellow men nor among them. We perish of boredom in the country and of fury in the city.