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Friday, January 21, 2011

Will You Be Needing a Transfer?

And here we are again, the end of another workweek. Let’s get right to it, shall we; because as I’ve been insisting for quite some time now, my iPod, set on “shuffle” and played during my Friday-morning commute, has prophetic qualities.

Hey. If you want to launch into your weekend unprepared, that’s up to you. Me, I’m taking all the precautions.

Banana Pudding by Southern Culture on the Skids
Bootzilla by Bootsy Collins
She’s Hearing Voices by Bloc Party
Get Up by Heiruspecs*
Shining Star by Earth Wind and Fire
Going Underground by The Jam
Ziggy Stardust by David Bowie

See that? See that? It means – hmm. Rising up? Anybody else see anything about rising above the fray? In light of the commute this morning, perhaps it does mean something...

Because 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, thick-soled boots pounding the snow-encrusted sidewalk, yoga bag bouncing on my back, my purse 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 to a Friday 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 pushed herself ahead so as to board first.

I reminded myself again as the man I sat next to consumed three cherry Danish and a pint of milk and finished it all off with a belch I could hear over my iPod.

And I reminded myself of it one final time when I turned off my iPod to listen to a man standing at the front of the bus inform us, musically and with much flourish, that he is “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.

* St. Paul-based hip-hop band. Lovely people.


Oilfield Trash said...

Bootsy Collins is ALWAYS a great way to start a Friday.

Sarah said...

You are braver than I am! I couldn't make myself face the -14° temp at the bus stop this morning. I opted to "princess park" instead. It may be gut-wrenchingly expensive, but on days like today I love my heated underground parking ramp.

AND you ran in this cold weather. Can't that freeze your lungs? :)

Sausage Fingers said...

Two for one hookers! damn the economic downturn in the American shag market.
Good for johns, bad for hookers.
Cheers, Sausage...

Bouncin' Barb said...

Ah, David Bowie! Love his music. Major Tom, China Girl, and all the rest. Anytime is a good time for Bowie.

Glen said...

It's hard to beat The Jam

I cannot believe you went on the 10 - nobody goes on the 10.

Have a great weekend

Susan in the Boonies said...

Bootsy!!! Seriously? That dude can throw down!!!

Your sister, your brother, and your crazy uncle sound very, very familiar to me!!!

Pearl, could we be... ~gasp~ COUSINS???

Why don't you come on up and see me sometime?

Sweet Cheeks said...

Mr Friday began with me running out the door for work with my hair still soaking wet - which promptly froze before I hit the bottom stair of my front deck.

I hate it when the day starts like that.

Douglas said...

"She's hearing voices"

Uh huh... I see... and how does that make you feel?

Sioux Roslawski said...

Pearl--I think you need to make the Number 10 bus your regular bus. You could even write your blogs on the bus, so much fodder will you find! (And it won't even take a chunka-chunka of imagination. You'll just have to write what you see.)

Jhon Baker said...

Very well written, entertaining and above all - a great way to start my day. Thank you.

Simply Suthern said...

My morning started with a phone call from B-I-L stating his truck had broken down 35 miles to the south. By the time I cut my car off this morn I had driven 107 miles and all I got was just to work.

He is a bit nuts but not really entertaining.

Eva Gallant said...

I think I'm awfully glad I don't have to go out in the morning. I love retirement.

Roses said...

*hands Pearl a marguerita*

After that start to the morning, you need this.

Belle said...

I used to ride the bus in Vancouver, BC. It was full of weird people. But it was interesting. I like how you said you try to think of them as your brothers and sisters.

Kate Mohler said...

Great to get an inside peek at bus-riding in The Cities. Enjoy your new schedule (work that is, not bus).

Rob said...

You know Ziggy played it left hand. He was the nazz. With God given ass. He might have taken it all too far, we are warned, but boy could he play guitar.

Okay, so wow, that was even random for me.


And there's no good way to just promote my own brand of nonsense, and definitely not something Ziggy would do.

But the Spiders bitched about his fans and wondered if they should crush his sweet hands.

Maybe I should take that shameless self promotion out.

Anywho, a little too much caffeine for me I think.

I absolutely love, love, love your stuff. Sorry about the bus not a great start to the week end.

Gigi said...

While the Number 10 sounds intriguing and I'd love to hear more . . . . what I really want to know is how'd you swing those new hours? Maybe you could ask your Big Dog to talk to my Big Dog? Four extra hours of weekend.... *sigh* I can dream.

Brian Miller said...

nice...we are all human...and sorry about that belch...mama taught me to do that out of respect after i eat...now where did tht banana pudding go...

Cloudia said...

All aboard the cuckoo express

Aloha from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral



Flea said...

Your day far outshone mine. No iPod. No buses. Just started out throwing up for ten minutes. Believe it or not, it went downhill from there. Till my Hunny came home from work with yummy things and drew me a bath. Time for the iPod now...

That Janie Girl said...


I love your storytelling.

Love it.

Tempo said...

...not quite all equal dear Pearl. Your friends there cant afford to miss that next psychiatrists appointment...
Your life scares me a little Pearl, not sure I could cope as well as you do!

Pat Tillett said...

You have NEVER failed to make me smile Pearl!
Great story... Oh yeah, about those two for one hookers?

IndigoWrath said...

Hey, was it Elvis?!

Su said...

Wow, for a minute there I would have sworn that you were on a bus in Austin. :)