Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Bus Politics

I ride Public transportation when it's prudent. When I was a little girl , my father moved us to this house specifically so that we would never have to run for the bus. In the winter, I can see the bus at the stop up the block, because there are no leaves on the trees. In the summer, I can usually hear it approaching from 6 or 7 blocks away. I don't have dog-like hearing, I just know what it sounds like after all these years. So, it's easier for me to take the bus some days.
I usually make it to the bus stop , for the return trip at the end of the day, with five minutes to spare. I estimate where the bus will pull up and stand as close to that spot as possible. Though I rarely recognize fellow commuters on the trains, I am familiar with the evening commute crew. They know I don't take this same bus every night with them, but they recognize me as one of "Theirs". As an outsider, I am to be watched in case I try to take one of their usual seats. I have been blocked and almost tackled by one or more of them so that they may sit near each other and talk with each other on the ride home. They're not neighbors because they get off at different stops . They don't work together, because they arrive to the stop at differing times. They are middle aged women, older than me. Some have grown children. There is a rotation of 4 or 5 of them. I recognize them , but I try not to engage them in conversation.
I don't want to spoil my evening trip listening to even more stories about people I don't know and probably will never meet. I like the quiet. I like the solitude. By the end of most work days , I have had it with people . It's probably good that I've never had children and it is unlikely that will occur .
However, this is not about my bus "Usuals". Tonight, I was waiting at the estimated "Good" spot. A young blond woman had squeezed her way around my bag and the pillar to stand in front of my sweet spot. Behind me, was a young mother with a baby in a stroller. Not a little mewling baby. A little kid, maybe 2 years old. It's not the family bond that's bugging me. It's the stroller. It's gonna take a long time to get all the stuff on the bus. The "Ladies" have bus passes, they sneak on the bus from the rear. Said family unit swung into action and swerved around us, leaving me and blondie in the dust for the estimated sweet spot . SO, now, I'm at least 3 passengers behind where I think the bus is gonna stop. When I get on that bus, the "Ladies" will be blocking the aisle , keeping me from the back of the bus. I like to sit in a particular spot on the bus because I like to look into the window of a place that washes dogs. I like looking at the dogs. It doesn't matter if they are wet or dry. It's a fleeting glimpse and it makes me happy. The "Ladies" sometimes steal that small joy from me. I don't like to let that happen without a conterattack from me.
SO, the bus is shooting down the tunnel. The family unit sees the bus and is blocking me . I am bummed. I am not going to get a "good" seat on the bus. I am sad. So sad.
Wait ! What 's this ? Hmm? New bus driver ? This could be good or bad . I was kind of hoping I would die in a firey bus crash caused by the previous regular route driver. But , what is this ? The new bus driver has seen the family units sneaky tactics and pulled up in front of me ! I get first pick ! I was first on the bus! The bus driver and I exchanged a knowing look. He knew that I knew what he had done. Screw the "ladies" and the "Little family". New bus driver guy picked saggy old me. I love you new bus driver guy. I really do. Maybe you're the only man I'll ever truly love. . . . until they switch your bus route in the fall.
Until then, I love you Mr. Bus Driver.


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