Friday, October 17, 2008

The Wheels on the Bus

Took the bus home today. OMG, what a ride. The transit center is approximately 10-11 miles away. By car about 15 minutes with average traffic. By bus about 40 minutes with stops in average traffic. Not today though. Today was really bad, even by our standards, and we've lived here 11 years. It took us an hour and a half to get home from the transit center. By the way, these buses are pretty small, carry maybe 40 people or so, so when they're full we're all pretty close. It was actually a fun ride, believe it or not. I mean, listen, I didn't have to drive in all that mess. I'd remembered an umbrella for the spitting rain. I was going home as opposed to going to work.

A few of my fellow passengers had just gotten paid, plans were discussed as to exactly how much beer would be bought as soon as everyone got home. Cell phones rang, "where the hell are you?" or "Traffic is standing still, I'll be there as soon as I can." Toddlers shared Cheerios and bottled water. Sirens wailed and motorcycle cops and ambulances whizzed by going down the road against traffic. A woman carrying a leather briefcase and wearing beautifully stitched shoes shared a seat with a neatly dressed cashier whose long rides on the bus showed in her ability to sleep through all of the chaos and noise.

Two little ones sat on the back steps eating dry cereal and laughing while a nearby young man flirted with a woman surely old enough to be his grandma. The 'boys in the back of the bus' continued to plan their evening's beer consumption, while a man with a beautiful smile complained that the seats were uncomfortable. A woman across from me laughed at him and said, "You just don't have enough cushion, baby. Us womenfolk have plenty of cushion to keep us comfy, don't we hon?" That last bit was addressed to me because I'd burst out laughing.

Someone suggested a hymn sing and another answered that karaoke would be more fun. More people piled on with grocery bags and strollers. We listened to one woman rant and rave into her cell phone about how her new supervisor is incompetent & etc. etc. etc. until someone finally asked her to be quiet. It began to rain. An SUV driver cut in front of the bus with only inches to spare, prompting irate honking & swearing and much protests of sore backs and necks.

Finally we many of us got off the bus at the same stop, stepping out into the cold breezes and spitting rain. Our own little happy hour was over. Back to payday Friday night, the drugstore, irate girlfriends. Home to cook dinner. Pay bills. Hug your babies. Another shortish walk and I was home again.

BTW- title comes from a children's song that begins, "The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round.."

Image found on Wikimedia

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