At night they become invisible. Especially in the rain, at night. Waiting. Just sitting there, waiting. A gravitational time dilation: a black hole. Waiting for you to drive over them. And fall into them. This is not like love, falling into love. If you look this up in Wikipedia, “a black hole is a region of space from which nothing, not even light, can escape. It is the result of the deformation of spacetime….” This is how I think, oh so fondly, of the potholes of Escondio. They eat axles for breakfast, suspensions for lunch, tires for dinner, bent tie-rods for snacks.

One needs to consider also the event horizon, the undetectable surface of the black hole, which becomes a point of no return. Once you’ve gotten this far, far enough to be driving in Escondido in the rain, at night, this black hole can break your car and send you off the road.

If you contemplate this further, there are the laws of black hole mechanics. These must be the repair shops that fix the broken car, the flattened tire, the cracked axle, the beserk steering gear, the faulty alignment, the unbalanced wheels. The possibilities are simply endless.

Escondio has many black holes. Some are of the political inclination: immigration, traffic checkpoints, hotels, the art center, defered maintenance, pensions, the usual rhetoric. Holes in the sky above the proposed ballpark: quickly issue lots of revenue bonds in a redevelopment district and use OPM (other people’s money) to build it, and they will come. Never mind that the traffic is already at a failure level on the I-15 corridor. Just another black economic hole that you can drive through or fall into and never climb out.

There is a new In-N-Out Burger, where you can find other black holes, between buns and with lettuce and tomatoes and stuff. Those are great black holes.

These late night adventures can also take you to Peterson’s Donuts for holes of a more splendid nature: donut holes, black caloric holes, but very tasty holes. Yes, there are many kinds of holes in Escondido.

But drive through Escondido, and beware of the potholes…. once you’ve fallen into the black hole, there is an effect of gravitation time dilation, when the object falling into the black hole appears to slow down, as it reaches the event horizon, taking infinity to reach it. By then it is way too late. “On the other hand, an observer falling into a black hole does not notice any of these effects as he crosses the event horizon…..he is unable to determine exactly when he crosses it, as it is impossible to determine the location of the event horizon from local observations.” Thank you very much, Wikipedia. In a nutshell, you’re a goner.

If that were not enough, these simple black holes, there is also something called a Schwarzschild black hole, and any attempt to avoid falling into one will “only shorten the time taken to get there.” I can hardly wait.

We’re not trying to split theoretical hairs here, or even theorems, or reach a deeper understanding of physics. Just contemplating potholes and their close relation, black holes, as I try and get through Escondido to home.


Sign in to comment