02 December 2005


This is a bit different - didn't take the bus today, but want to tell about the ride home last night. It started out awkwardly - a bus rounded the corner and the bus info sign light wasn't working. With my bad night vision I had no prayer of seeing what was up there, if anything. I stepped forward and the bus slowed then stopped about 20 feet before reaching me. I couldn't read the sign and was walking slowly toward the bus. The door opened and I heard the driver say "...six south" - since I wanted 66 southbound, I ran to the bus and asked if it was 66 south. The driver said yes, I sighed with relief and boarded. I told him the sign wasn't working and he said he knew that - I'm sure he'd heard the complaint before (duh!) but put a hand written sign in the window or something (duh!). I thanked him for announcing and sat down. The driver looked vaguely familiar and I wondered if he yelled the bus number because he saw and remembered me?

I had the bus to myself for a few stops and then some interesting people got on. First was a huge, huge man - huge in tall and big frame - not fat. He was easily 6'8" and maybe some. He had very long hair, worn like movie women in the 40s - nicely brushed, parted on the side combed across the forehead - Veronica Lake maybe? He was wearing a brown jacket and cargo shorts in a fashion like a UPS driver and carrying a brown briefcase. It was an odd combination and enhanced by his immense size. He talked to the driver and the man across from him and seemed quite nice and normal.

The next interesting people to get on were a young man and woman. He looked like a standard issue college student and she looked somewhat the same except for being extremely overweight. She was only about 5' tall and that added to her rotund appearance, I'm sure. Kind of an "as wide as high" thing. She talked very loudly - I mean almost yelling. It was as though every word was meant to be heard by everyone on the bus and possibly people in cars next to the bus. It wasn't a pleasant voice and she didn't say things that most people want to hear. One snippet of conversation: "Do you know the cross dresser that works at Circle K? EVERYONE knows him - who are you if you don't know him?" I don't know him and was disturbed to think someone like her just decided I was NO ONE because I didn't know this person. She was rude, obnoxious, smelly (horrible cigarette odor) and generaly yucky. I tried and tried to think of some redeeming quality or understand that things directed her to be this way, but I could not find one shred of compassion or empathy for her. She was awful - her conversation, her attitude, her language, her odor, her appearance. I couldn't wait for her to get off that bus and I think everyone else concurred. We all sat with twisted bodies facing front as best we could. I swear there was a collective sigh when she departed. My first truly unbearable experience on the bus.

She was gone, relief was in the air, but it became a little more interesting as we got closer to my stop. The large fellow with the briefcase, opened it and took out a box cutter. I know a box cutter and it was a box cutter. He closed the briefcase and put the box cutter in his jacket pocket. He looked just fine, but I had to wonder what was up with the box cutter. Was he going to attack the driver and hijack the bus? He and I were the only passengers and I obviously wasn't worth any kind of ransom. It was just such an odd, random act. Oh well, I knew the number was painted on top of the bus just in case it became a police emergency. We kept getting closer to my stop and then I wondered if he was waiting to get off when I did and kill me? It would happen on court TV ... he pulled the cord for the stop before mine, however, and got off like any normal passenger. Thanked the driver and walked away. Didn't hear of any slashings or killings overnight, so who knows?

The last oddity of the ride - once the guy was off and the bus started to go, the driver said, "you're the next stop, right?" And he was right ... I knew he looked familiar and thought he might have remembered me from another time, but to remember the stop where I got off? Freaky night on the bus.

01 December 2005


Gotta say this number does not ring any bells. Still in the 4100 class, but that 45 at the end just isn't familiar. They all look so much alike, only the number could make a difference - too busy to archive dive for reference.

Another cold morning at the bus stop. As I was getting ready to cross Guadalupe, a bus roared by - I was about a minute late leaving home, but didn't think the 66 would get there so early. Sometimes the 92 is very late and I just hoped it was 92 whizzing by and not 66. Crossed the street, hopped around for a few minutes and bless it, good old 66 arrived. The problem with a bus that runs every 1/2 hour, by the time you decide you did miss the bus, it's really too late to go back home and warm up as it would be time to come back to the stop - might as well just do some on-site exercising and practice vile oaths and death threats to the bus company - it's ALWAYS the bus' fault that a ride is missed. Riders NEVER are responsible for their own destiny ...

The ride was quiet, calm and uneventful. I've decided the cold temperatures and morning darkness combine to make somnambulists of bus riders. We function, but with no energy or life - sleep riders actually. I'm pretty sure everyone is sound asleep with their eyes open. No group of people could be so unreactive without a logical explanation. Just can't figure out how we know when to pull the cord for our stop - subconscious behavior? Predestiny? Too much for my early morning brain to contemplate.