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.
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.
Eight in Some: Sunday, February 18
13 hours ago