Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The Commute Home

I attended a function , related to my job , after work. Which means I had to take a later bus. It was actually a nice evening , so my co-worker and I walked all the way from the North End to Park Street station. On a map , it looks like a long way but it only took us about 15 minutes.
When I got to where I get my bus , I had missed the last bus by 10 minutes and had to decide between A) Waiting for the next bus, that drops me off across the street from my house or B) Taking a bus that comes sooner but requires a 15 minute walk, up a hill, in the dark. Either way, I'm walking through the door at the same time. I opt for A.
Same route, different time, different bunch of people. This bus came roughly 2 hours later than my usual bus. I couldn't get a seat facing forward, I got a seat facing the rear exit. This bus was surprisingly chilly. I could smell someone sweaty, chicken casserole and gin. The guy across the way from me had a stack of instant lottery tickets. He was scratching them the whole way until he nodded off and then snapped up and headed toward the front of the bus to make sure he didn't miss his stop. I kept trying to identify the chicken smell-a cross between my Mum's chicken casserole and fried chicken from KFC.
Because I was cold, as soon as I could, I moved closer to the front of the bus (and heat). I had to wait for the single individuals sitting in the double molded plastic seats to exit the bus so I could have a double seater to myself. An Asian woman in a pink beret got off the bus and I took her seat. As soon as I had situated myself, some guy sat in front of me in the double seater that was also now vacant. I felt mildly stalked. I hadn't even seen him down back. His tweed coat smelled like pee. He wasn't homeless, I think that that tweed got wet and it was time to take it to the dry cleaners.
After the sun sets, the ride is really dark and you can't really see where you are from inside the bus. I saw the interiors of some of the homes on the route that don't usually have their lights on because I ride past before the occupants get home. There's some nice looking houses on my way home. Sky lights and great rooms and cozy dining rooms with mahogany chairs and peach pink walls. Warm and inviting and emphatically "home". If you sliced my house open , it would look the same.
There was a slight detour because there was a Keyspan truck performing surgery on a major artery near my home. I couldn't tell if it was gas or electricity. Since the lights still seemed to be on in the houses , I surmised it was gas. A gas leak is probably worse. After we got past the trucks and the hole in the ground, we made the turn down my street.
I have to pay attention because the interior lights are so bright, it's hard to see the scenery outside. Also, there is a robot voice that says the name of the next stop , but almost every bus or train I've been on , randomly says a name of a stop near the end of the run , in the other direction. Don't trust the robot voice. Use your eyes ! I do. I got home. The bus dropped me off across the street from my house .
I know. Not terribly funny or interesting, but it's what I was thinking about.
Ther End


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