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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Have You Brought Enough for Everyone? Huh?

You know the story.

A man cannot get over how small his apartment is. In the kitchen, he can stir what’s on the stove, wash the dishes, and check the contents of the fridge all while standing in one spot. The hallway is filled with shoes and made narrower by the coats on rows of hooks. And bedrooms? What bedrooms? Bedroom, yes; and then there’s the fold-out couch.

He tries not to be bitter. It’s enough for him, his wife, their son. Still. Why does it have to be so small, and when will he be able to afford a bigger place?

And then his wife’s family loses their home; and in they move, the two adults and their child, their bicycles and bedding and dogs and Tupperware.

You thought it was small before?

They stay for a month; and when they leave, the man is overjoyed. Look at this place, he exclaims to his wife. Can you believe what a big apartment we have?
I told you that to tell you this: the buses that you thought were full? They weren’t. But they are now.

I can’t put my finger on it. Since the temporary move of the bus stops from Nicollet Mall to Hennepin Avenue (where, last Friday – and I kid you not – I witnessed a woman wet herself in broad daylight), the bus/bus stop has become a changed place.

Gone are my plans to contact the Metropolitan Transit Commission with my Don’t Be Afraid, It’s Just People on a Bus program, (free mani/pedis, puppies to hold for the duration of your commute, a walk-in humidor).

What remains is the desire to maintain one’s composure.

There appears to be no limit to the number of people you can cram onto a bus, nor a limit to what comes along with those people. Suitcases, walkers, strollers, pizzas: if it is part of the human experience, if it can in any way be moved, heard, smelled, or yelled at/into, it will be there.

The woman next to me balances a take-out container of barbecued ribs, coleslaw, a corn meal muffin and a large Diet coke on her lap and then proceeds to eat it.

With her fingers.

There are signs prohibiting eating on the bus. Is she unaware of this?

Maybe she’s not from around here.

Maybe she’s never ridden the bus before.

Maybe she's a thoughtless twit sent to test the system.

At any other time, the driver would be able to see this, but the bus is filled past his having a view of the seats. 

There is no one to save me from this lip-smacking eater of barbecue, and so I do what living in the city has shown, in this instance, anyway, to be the most reasonable course of action.

I close my eyes.

And breathe deeply.

Mmm. Barbecue.


Shelly said...

In a few weeks, we'll be riding some public transportation in the Middle East, including a camel or two, as we did last year. I've sha tee ed a bus with various livestock, what could possibly have been a two headed, four legged man (either that or they fit themselves into the same suit), However, I've still not seen some of the things you have. If I'm ever up there, I'm going ride the bus with a small popcorn and be entertained and amazed.

Jacquelineand.... said...

And she didn't even share? Clearly you were sharing the bus with a sadist.

jenny_o said...

Maybe you could avail yourself of a skateboard and hitch a ride behind the bus?

You are an adaptable human bean, Pearlie, and them's the ones who survive.

Eileen B said...

Check the discount stores. Maybe you can find and buy a used portable Cone of Silence.

Joanne Noragon said...

It's temporary. It's temporary. Keep repeating that.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Human jam. Not my kind of preserve... YAM xx

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

Not to worry. With a diet like that, she won't be riding the bus too much longer. Cardiac arrest should get her -hopefully not when she is sitting next to you.

Anonymous said...

You should start carrying your own utensils.

River said...

Mmmm, barbecue.
I'm amazed she was able to balance a complete meal on her lap and not have half of it slide off as the bus moved.

ThreeOldKeys said...

I guess this ain't the party bus ....

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Boundaries, people. Boundaries. Don't eat ribs in public, floss, clip toenails or argue.