Monthly Archives: December, 2010

Thursday, December 9, 2010

# 4, northbound, after work

My new normal 4:16 bus. It was pretty crowded when I got on, but I was able to get an aisle seat near the front. The man in the window seat had Wide Leg Syndrome and was sitting at an angle and didn’t make much of an attempt to scoot over or close his legs. I was squeezed against the edge of the seat trying not to block the aisle. You’re only entitled to one seat, and on the bus, not even that sometimes.

There was a loud group of young men in the back of the bus, late teens. Two of them were talking loudly, one louder than the other, but I think there were more than 2 of them just because it seemed like they were performing for other people, and I don’t think the other people were the rest of the bus passengers. It’s the kind of conversation teenage boys might have with a group of friends but not the kind that should be shared loudly on a public bus. Like many conversations in Kentucky, it started with basketball and a debate over the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville teams and then continued from there.

Basketball is my church!

You lie! How can someone who goes to church [real church, not basketball?] lie so much. You’re a fuckin’ liar!  You go to St. Stephen’s every Sunday morning and then you fuckin’ lie to my face?!

Something about someone’s mother.

Homophobic slurs.

More uses of fuck and its other forms as an adjective.

Something about bitches.

The man next to me made a comment to me, but I was annoyed by his Seat Hogging and didn’t want to bond with him over the loud teens in the back so I pretended not to hear him. I sat squeezed in my seat with my bag in my lap, sweating with my winter hat and gloves still on because I had no space to remove them.

The bus driver, like the Wizard of Oz, spoke through the microphone up front: You need to stop the profanity back there. But like the wizard, her proclamations proved ineffective. This happened twice, but it didn’t stop the profanity and didn’t even lead them to lower their voices. I’m sure there is a rule about it somewhere, but it’s not one of the listed “No eating / No drinking / No guns / No loud music” rules. I wondered if the driver had the authority to kick someone off the bus.

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

# 4 northbound, after work

I caught the 4:40 bus from campus. Fewer passengers than the bus I usually take. I could see the driver’s profile in the rearview window and she was talking. But no passengers were standing up near her. I was trying to decide if she was talking to herself or talking into a cell phone earpiece and which option would be preferable, when I saw her take the earpiece out and hold it for a minute while speaking into it.

She finished her shift at my stop (Broadway) and was on the sidewalk behind me, waiting to to cross, still talking and laughing.

Monday, December 7, 2010

# 4, southbound, Louisville Industrial Center

I slept in this morning so caught the 7:51 instead of my normal 7:39 bus. A young man and woman sat down behind me at 4th & Broadway. Much of their ride involved talking to “Troy” on a cell phone about meeting at the U of L Library (If you’re on TARC already, just ask for directions.) and about the weather. We just got on the bus. Troy, it’s cold out… Where are you at? It’s cold, Troy. He possibly was on the bus behind us (our bus may have been running a few minutes late), so they got off at Hill to catch the next bus and reunite with Troy. In the cold.

And it was cold outside. 16 degrees and lower with the windchill. A man got on the bus wearing a fitted leopard-print fur coat.

Friday, December 3, 2010

# 23 westbound
# 4 southbound, mid-morning

I waited for about 5 minutes on Broadway for the #23 after walking south from my doctor’s appointment. A man already at the shelter and smoking a cigarette offered me a wall calendar. I missed what the specific theme was. He then asked if I was waiting for the 23 or the 43, and since I was standing by the posted schedule, asked what time the 43 came. 10:36. I said. So about 15 more minutes.

A few minutes later he asked me what time it was. As I pulled my phone out of my coat pocket, he said something about the weather, perhaps because my gloves were also in my pockets (with the sun and walk, it was warm enough to be bare-handed). They said we’re supposed to get 3 inches, he said. I only like snow on Christmas. As my bus arrived, he told me to have a Merry Christmas. You too, I said.

At the stop for the #4 a man was listening to music on his cell phone without headphones. It is a truth universally acknowledged that the louder someone else’s music is the least likely you are to actually enjoy it. I went ahead and put in my earbuds and turned on my iPod. On the bus, as the driver pulled away from the stop, an older man stood between the lane and the parking lane waving a transfer ticket in his hand. Oh no, the driver said, I am not stopping for you as she waved her arm in the universal sign of “get away from me.” I sense a TARC history between those two.

The man with the cellphone, who did turn his music off once on the bus, got off one stop later, a very short block away and headed north on 4th Street. I don’t understand people sometimes. Perhaps he was the one who left the manila folder on the bench at Broadway.

#4, northbound, after work

An adult woman and an older man were sitting in front of me — possibly father and daughter. The woman had a litany of complaints about a recent dining experience — overcharged, etc., and said she didn’t leave a tip. We were just passing the public library when she said something about a man using the university library and not the public library because they have a children’s section at the public library and he can’t go there. Oh.

Tueday, December 2, 2010

# 4 – southbound, Iroquois Park

Today’s lesson is patience. I left the house in the morning before R. was ready because it was a few minutes past the time we needed to leave for me to catch the 7:39 bus. I got to the stop at 7:37 with no sign of the bus approaching, so I walked a block to the next stop. At 7:45 the bus arrived — I could have walked two more stops, but the worst thing is to be halfway between two stops when the bus finally shows up. I saw R. walking down the street at the corner of stop #1 as the bus approached me at stop #2. How do you plan your day on the assumption that the bus will be 6 minutes late?

At 4th & Breckinridge, a woman got on the bus and asked the driver if our bus went to a certain location. I think she was trying to get to Oxmoor since the driver said to take the #19 or the #29. Neither of which intersect with the #4 at Breckinridge. She’d have to go north on 4 to catch the 19 or south to catch the 29. The 4 is north-south and the 19 and 29 are east-west. This discussion lasted 2.5 cycles of the traffic light. While we were already running late. And the woman ended up not riding our bus. I got to the office about 10 minutes later than usual and 50 minutes after I left the house. To travel 3 miles.

Monday, November 29, 2010

#4 , southbound – Iroquois Park

No bus riding during the holiday. Monday morning was the first time in basically a week. An older man with a cane got on at 4th & Ormsby. He had the ultimate bed hair. It was like a member of the Flock of Seagulls if a F.O.S. band member were living in an assisted living home in Louisville.