In an effort to expand my world experience and, more importantly, go somewhere, I have taken up getting onto buses other than the Faithful 17W.
The Uptown bus takes me to the chiropractor. Uptown: forever in my mind as a neighborhood of coffee shops, chicks in tights, turn-of-the-century houses and the home of a bus stop where a dreadlocked man on a bicycle ran into a parked car while turning around to smile at me.
But that’s a story for another time.
The other bus I’ve been taking goes out to
Blaine, to the ‘N’ Ride, where I de-bus and walk
six, seven blocks to join Big Willie in the efforts to settle his father’s
estate. Northtown Park
I climbed onto this bus Monday night.
Immediately, the differences between a city and a commuter bus are apparent. Firstly: accordion bus! That right there will excite your average city-type commuter. To be honest, I am thrilled.
That bit, in the middle there, where it swivels? Magic.
My goal, of course, is to sit there.
I manage to sit near it.
It’s all I ask.
Once the novelty wore off of the front of the bus going around a corner so much earlier than the back end of the bus, however, I am left with nothing.
Nothing but a growing sense of disquiet.
All of these people, and none of them shouting into a telephone! I lean into the aisle, look up toward the driver, turn around to look back toward the end of the bus.
There is no one balancing a baby on a shopping cart.
There is no one is surreptitiously changing their shirt or brushing their teeth.
There are no children, no collapsible shopping carts, no offers to “rock” my world.
Just what’s going on here?
These people are all dressed for work, all carrying brief cases and backpacks. I sit back, stare out the window at the long lines of single-passenger vehicles on the freeway.
It’s a new world.
Because sometimes a bus ride is a freak show.
And sometimes it’s just a ride.