Thursday, January 3, 2008

Notes From the Last Seven Days::

Thursday, December 27
In what may be the single kindest act bestowed unto me in my short 22 years, an OUT OF SERVICE bus slowed to my stop at 10:31 a.m. (I was already running late, it was cold, it was windy, I'd been there for 20 minutes) The woman nodded when I thanked her and I joined the ranks of two other lucky people who were on the way to her destination. I've never been so shocked or happy in my life.

Thursday, January 3

I find a seat in the back around 9:40 a.m. The bus lurches forward, and the man in front of me turns around to make a remark about the cold weather. I agree, it's cold. A few minutes later he asks, by my bar name*, which he learned last week, if I have any money. I feel bad that I only have the exact fare for a ride home. Because he's nice.

Buy my monthly pass at the Lutherville Park and Ride and watch as my bus home sails past me. Slowly trudge to the stop, which is empty, when I find an 8 idling. The bus driver is allowing passengers sit inside while she enjoys her break at the wheel. I consider denying this one small accommodation the cruelest thing in the world and almost throw myself at her feet in thanks.** I take a seat in the back, and when we lurch to a start, two women in front of me turn around and pass awkward smiles. Is there a booger in my nose? Am I sniffling too loudly? At the next stop they talk to the man "behind me" (I'm in the sideways seat) and then, a few minutes later, begin to fight--vapidly. I'm overcome with the interestingness of Words on Wheels as a means of distraction. I stand up to signal my stop with the yellow touchstrip when the man says, "You'll have to holler at her, baby, they don't work." I think he means my section, so I try another part of the bus when all three--in what may be one of the few times I find it mildly endearing instead of infuriating--say, "No, baby, it's all broken." Oh. Well. I ask the bus driver, politely, if she can make a stop at West Road. She only hears, stop and says apologetically, "I'll let you out at West Road."
I lurch forward when the bus stops and as I exit, the same three and the driver tell me to have a nice day.
And I do, sort of.

*When I go to a concert, show, Starbucks, bar, etc. and am forced to give my name I have a habit of giving a fake name out of spite or safety. I have been adopting an alternate identity, for better or worse, for five years.

**I am a cold weather wuss. I will never make do in Chicago.

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