Charlie drives aggressively.
He picks me up at the stop at roughly 7:25. I have made it to my office as early as 8:10. This is a near impossible feat when commuting from Jersey into Midtown.
Charlie is not afraid to drive in shoulder lanes, cut across multiple lanes of traffic at once, and to force other vehicles into compromising situations, particularly when we’re merging from 15 lanes into two going into the Lincoln Tunnel.
Charlie also knows every shortcut known to man.
Today, traffic on Route 3 is at a crawl. Charlie is doing his best to make good time, but the Gods are aligned against him this day.
He pulls off the highway near Clifton. We make a sharp left turn and are now careening through a Shop-Rite parking lot.
“Charlie, can I do some groceries,” jokes Claire, a middle-aged Asian woman. This is the first time I’ve ever heard her speak. She listens to “How to Speak English” lessons on her iPod.
We’re now through the Shop-Rite and are on a residential road, easily doing double the speed limit. We then turn off into a smaller road, and through another, and are now in an office park. We cut behind an a well-manicured office building, through another driveway, and now end up back on the highway.
Charlie is bullying his way through traffic, cutting people off without any regard whatsoever. He now gets off at an exit well before the Tunnel. We’re now in a town that I, despite being born and bred in North Jersey, have never passed through. All of the storefronts and street signs are written in Spanish.
We turn through a few small streets and wind up in Hoboken, where we make a sharp U-Turn and are now entering the Lincoln Tunnel.
I am at my office at 8:25.
“He was so slow today,” Barbara said when she leaves the van.