# 4 – Iroquois Park (7:57 am)
Status: 4 minutes late
The physical representation of your dreams passing you by is seeing the TARC bus drive away without you. Alternatively, hell is being stuck at a Do Not Walk sign while your bus shows up across the street. In this case, the 7:43 bus turned south onto 4th Street while I was at the northwest corner of 4th & Broadway. The westbound #23 had just stopped. The #4 stopped, picked up people, dropped one person off, and kept going. As a #23 passenger and I scurried across the street — you have to wait for the light, or you’re going to get hit by a car since Broadway has 6 lanes of traffic right there. The passenger who had just gotten off the bus waved his hands, but the bus did not stop.
The next bus was scheduled for 7:55 so I kept walking. Which would have been fine since I had my hat, coat, and gloves on. But I had thin footwear on and those sidewalks were cold. I walked to Kentucky. The bus was 4 minutes late. It took me 40-45 minutes door-to-door to get to work today. 2 miles. Totally should have biked it.
# 18 – eastbound
Status: On time?
I left the follow-up appointment with my surgeon and got to the bus stop with the #18 approaching from about a block away. A few stops later, an older man got on and sat diagonally behind me and struck up a conversation with the two guys right behind me.
Older man: Can you believe this weather?
Guy at the aisle: Can’t complain about it for nothin’. Pretty good for January.
(Variations on this).
OM: Do you two watch Professional Football?
GatA: Nah, don’t have the time.
OM: My Green Bay Packers didn’t make it past the first round. Super Bowl Champions, ha.
(More about the weather)
GatA is talking and then drops something; a travel coffeee mug rolls under the seat towards my feet. I pick it up and hand it back to him. GatA: How do you forget you have something in your hand?
Guy at Window: You just thinkin’ real hard.
When I got up from my bus, I went toward the back doors and ended up stepping on the aisle guy’s foot (in black clogs of the restaurant/hospital style) as his legs were stretched out into the aisle. I apologized, and he did, too, sort of: Oh, I’m sorry, baby.
# 23 – Newburg/Fagenbush eastbound (8:45 am)
Status: On time
My bus was uneventful, but while we were stopped at a light on East Broadway, I looked across the street and saw a man at the westbound stop: youngish white guy wearing a baseball cap and leather athletic jacket. Cigarette in his mouth. Earphones on and holding onto a portable CD player. (My husband later: Maybe it was one of the ones that play MP3s and cds. Me: Why would you buy one of those? Who buys CDs anymore?) Most importantly, dude was dancing and did not care that he was standing on East Broadway at a bus stop with other people at the bus stop. He was bobbing his head and shaking his hips and lifting his legs (not saying he was a good dancer, but he was definitely into it).
The woman behind me laughed, and I wanted to turn to her to say something, but I didn’t. Obviously, I am much more self-conscious than the Dancing Dude.
# 4 – southbound Iroquois Park (7:55)
Status: 3 minutes late
It was in the 50s but windy today. And wet but not raining when I left for the bus stop. I was still north of Broadway when I saw a bus turn right on 4th Street, but I’m pretty sure it didn’t stop. It had to have been the 4 and was definitely running late. Because it wasn’t raining, when I got to the stop, I stood outside the semi-crowded shelter. Then the rain came in sheets for just a few minutes. Long enough for me to force open my umbrella and hold it with two hands to keep it from blowing out. The man next to me ducked into the shelter. Then the rain stopped, I closed my umbrella, and the bus came.
Someone rang the bell for Gaulbert. From behind me, it sounded like someone slipped (on the wet aisle?). A man behind me said, Are you alright? to the woman sitting behind me. I am. Are you alright? she asked. I’m good. Put this in your phone. She laughed, and he said Put this number in your phone. This is my stop. Then he recited his phone number, which she repeated, and he got off the bus. I wonder if she’ll call.
# 4 – northbound, 4:26 pm
Status: 2 minutes late
When I got off at 4th & Broadway, Mr. Shabby Sharp passed me running south to catch the bus. He was wearing a leather coat and a tangerine suit (or at least the pants). A guy who had just gotten off the bus and was wearing a hat with earflaps commented it was cold. And it was definitely below freezing. Plus windy.
The day before Mr. Shabby Sharp had boarded at 4th & Oak. He ran south across the street to catch the bus. It was above freezing but he was wearing a pastel green-and-white crocheted winter beret/beanie and matching scarf. And multiple chains and necklaces, including one with a green butterfly. When I saw the scarf and hat, my initial thought was, Someone’s daughter/granddaughter learned how to crochet for Christmas! He carried a white garbage bag and a shopping bag. He got off one stop (and one block) later at St. Catherine.
When I told my husband about the scarf-and-hat set on Wednesday yet lack of winter attire on Thursday, he said, Maybe someone told him it didn’t look good. Me: Dude was wearing a tangerine suit today; I think it takes a lot for him to decide something doesn’t look good.
# 4 – northbound
This was not my first ride since the end of November, but it is obviously my first post since then. Time flies…
Man on the back of the bus: [on home shootings] So many kids shooting themselves I’m starting to lose sympathy… If they say don’t touch it, then don’t touch it! …
….if I had touched a gun when I was little…probably would have shot me…
…no point in keeping a gun in your house if it’s not loaded…