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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

That Will be $2.25, Please

I rode the number 10 bus this morning.

I know what you’re thinking. What could have possibly induced me to board the lawless Number 10, affordable mode of transportation for the shifty-eyed?

Well I’ll tell you.

I’ve recently changed hours at work, opting for four nine-hour days and a four-hour day on Friday, thus affording myself an afternoon of freedom.

And while I get used to my new hours, I have done what many have done before me.

I have missed my bus.

There it was, my regular bus at a new, irregular time and a full block ahead of me. Run! Run! Pump them crazy legs, Pearl! It’s 6:26, my heels clacking on the sidewalk, yoga bag bouncing on my back, my purse and lunch bag clamped under my left arm.

Run!

Ah, but when the lights change, the bus continues and the next stop is five blocks away, the odds of you catching it diminish considerably.

Will I wait 20 minutes for the next bus?

I will not.

Walk on, old girl, uphill and several blocks to the Number 10 Route, home of vagabonds and people who hit themselves in the head.

I’ve had occasion to ride the 10 before, a route which will eventually lead to a friend’s house but one that also runs through an area known for its affordable housing, its mental health facilities, and its two-for-one hookers.

The 10 is a hotbed of human behavior and just plain good people watching.

Normally, this is something I want to roll around in, memorize for future reference, relate to colleagues over satisfying beverages.

Today, however, this is the poor start of a lousy Tuesday and sullen pre-dawn proof of society’s loss of civility.

I remind myself that these people are my brothers and sisters as the woman who joined me five minutes after I got to the bus stop pushes herself ahead so as to board first.

I remind myself again as the man I sit next to consumes three cherry Danish and a pint of milk and finishes it all off with a belch I could hear over my iPod.

And I remind myself of it one final time when I turn off my iPod to listen to a man standing at the front of the bus sing along with his iPod, thereby letting us all know that he is, and I quote, “just a hunka hunka burnin’ love”.

And with that, I finally smile.

My sister is rude, my brother has no table manners, and my crazy uncle at the front of the bus is a reminder that it doesn’t matter what I think of these people.

On the Number 10 Bus, we are all equal.

And I get off it at the next stop.

29 comments:

Will Burke said...

You're a bigger person than I. It would take me days of bemoaning the loss of civility before getting to the One-Big-Family place.

Pearl said...

Ack. It's all an act I play for myself. :-) Without it, I conjure up stories of the discourteous plagued by boils. I find it's better for my health this way. :-)

lgsquirrel said...

Sounds like a great way to meet people. Perhaps all politicians who want to get to know their constituents should spend a day a week sitting on the Number 10.

Pearl said...

lgsquirrel, I heartily agree. The world's a much different place on the bus!

Big Fat Gini said...

You're so much nicer than me! This is where I'd take the opportunity to skewer them on my blog. On the other hand, I've been guilty of belting out a few lines while sitting in the lobby of the courthouse during jury selection.

The only difference is that my tune of choice was "Hit Me Baby One More Time." And it wasn't 1998.

nsiyer said...

Reminded me of my dad. He used to catch a particular train just to meet the people he loved.

He used to stand in a queue to pay electricity bills just to meet his friends though he could have paid by credit card.

Yeah! thanks to No 10.

Sweet Cheeks said...

Crazy Uncles always make family time more enjoyable, don't they?

Drunk Crazy Uncles are a whole different issue though...

=]

Symdaddy said...

I haven't sat on a bus since 1998 in Salzburg, Austria. It could well have been a European cousin of your "No. 10" ... with less civility and politeness ... it was full mid-western, middle aged Americans on their way into deepest,darkest Mozart-land looking for souvenirs and trampling anyone to death that dared get in their way.

I risked it once ... never again though!

Douglas said...

Two for one hookers? I'll have to hop on that #10 if I ever get to Minneapolis...

Noelle said...

Reminds me of the times I rode the bus in Brooklyn...ah the memories!

I'm still in love with your blog!

DAVID McGRIEVEY said...

Keep em coming, your writing I mean, not the two-fers. I once saw a stinky woman peel a stick of margarine like a banana on the subway and eat it.
X David

Kr√ęg said...

I always wondered what the plural of Danish was...
Wait, no I didn't. That's a lame thing to wonder. Instead I was wondering something cool.

And two-for-one hookers?!? That is a ridiculously good deal. Around here you have to have six punches on your card before you get a freebie.

So I've heard.

KleinsteMotte said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
KleinsteMotte said...

Is $2.25 a lesser fare?

Rene/ Not The Rockefellers said...

Where else can you get such kick ass material than the #10?

Stick M79 by Vampire Weekend on the iPod and just breathe...but not too deeply...thars the stuff of chicken soup in them there armpits :)

Rene

a Broad said...

I think you are just so wonderful.
You know this way is better for your health ..
Me? I would end up out crazying the crazy, throwing little hissy fits and generally, probably, getting thrown off the bus.
Or my head would explode because I am , at heart, a marshmallow .. and would not yell at anyone.

dirt clustit said...

2FER hookers?

you wouldn't happen to know if their drugs-to-cash value exchange policy uses federal exchange rates or national would you?

Slamdunk said...

Sounds like a people adventure every day then. At least, you get great ideas for blogging.

Fred Miller said...

When you write about running for the bus, I think of Mary Tyler Moore living in Minneapolis. "You're gonna make it after all."

lunamother said...

hmmm..."6:26am" and "heels". Please translate- the rest of the post seemed to be in English...

I rode the Greyhound once from southern to central Wisconsin- what takes 2 1/2 hours in a car takes 7 hours by bus. The low point was when the man next to me took out a toothbrush and started brushing his teeth...without leaving his seat *~*

RawknRobynsGoneBlogWild said...

I think I love you too, Pearl. You are hilarious, and such a great writer. Now, tell me, do you think that "Hunka Hunka" guy is any kind of a hunk? I'm wondering if I should catch the 10.
xoRobyn

UBERMOUTH said...

All equal? Those people only exist to remind us of our superiority. Best you adjust your piss poor Mother Teresa attitude and be on the number 10 bus everday, Pearl.

Jon in France said...

I can't rid myself of BOGOF hookers. Still, good to see that ladies of negotiable virtue are responding to the downturn in such a proactive manner.

Jon in France said...

Rather, I should say, the IDEA of BOGOF hookers...

Tempo said...

All people are BORN equal Pearl... no one said anything about them always being equal or dying equal...or maybe some are more equal than others.

Kal said...

I swear, some days you write a post that is done so well that its an honor not to have anything else to say but 'Thank You'.

a Broad said...

I agree with Kal... upon reading this again this morning !
Thank you ~

Andrea said...

I love your bus stories. It *almost* makes me wish I actually used public transportation.

thedailyg said...

Everyone is someone else's weirdo.

G