"Ash Monday " by T.C. Boyle (from the New Yorker)
Contains probably the my favorite description of the feeling and frustration of being stuck in traffic:
His commute from Pasadena had been murder, nearly two hours when it should have been half that, but some idiot had plowed into the back end of another idiot and then a whole line of cars had joined in the fun and the freeway had been down to one lane by the time he got there.
"Lostranaut " by Jonathan Lethem (from the New Yorker)
If you're a fan of Lethem (and I am), then you'll definitely enjoy this story of an astronaut, trapped in a space station with a mix of Russians and Americans, surrounded by Chinese space mines. The story is presented in the form of letters from the astronaut to her boyfriend and as things get progressively worse you get a sense of the despair, even though it's never explicitly indicated.
image by Flickr user Susan NYC