It was a perfect morning for a bike ride. Sunny and cool. There was a 60% chance of rain, but the forecast said it wouldn’t rain until after 5, so I risked it. Even now, when it’s approaching 6, the sky is white and blue.
I was approaching 3rd & St. Catherine when I suddenly thought of a friend who is a dedicated bicyclist. She’s taken photos of her commute. I’ve photographed part of my route on foot but never on bike. When I got to work and checked facebook, I saw that she had just updated her album.
On my ride this morning, I also thought of food. Specifically the 3 diners I pass. D. Nalleys, Ollie’s Trolley (both just before Kentucky Street), and the Dizzy Whiz (which is one block west).
D. Nalley’s is one of those places I didn’t notice until I walked home. The building is nondescript, and the sign posted on the door reads, “Cash Only.” I wonder if they serve biscuits & sausage gravy, the best breakfast combo ever.
D. Nalley’s is lost because it’s right before Ollie’s Trolley, which is red and yellow and looks like a trolley. It also doesn’t appear to be open in the mornings.
I don’t pass the Dizzy Whiz, but I can smell it from 3rd and St. Catherine. It smells like bacon. And it smells so good.
# 4 – Downtown/Medical Center (4:13 pm)
Status: 2 minutes late
In the morning I made my husband drive me to work. It was pouring rain. It ended up that I drove, but when we got to campus, he didn’t want to get out of the car (neither did I), so he slid across the seats. I had a large umbrella, but my feet got soaked. I avoided one flooded sidewalk by cutting through the parking garage but couldn’t avoid the rest. At the edge of the garage, I passed a man without an umbrella standing under the shelter. Perhaps mustering his courage to make a run for it. Perhaps waiting for it to let up. Which it did not do for hours.
Campus flooded. Again. Classes were cancelled. People were told not to come in, but the people already at work were told to stay. When I left at 4, it was warm and sunny, and the sidewalks were dry. Considering the flooding under the train trestles, I anticipated a long bus delay but didn’t want to walk because I was still breaking in my new shoes. I was pleasantly surprised to see the bus arrive only 2 minutes late. It was the young drive who says Hello to everyone who boards and Have a good day to everyone who exits.
# 4 – Downtown Medical Center (4:13 pm)
Status: Late (4:20 pm)
Plenty has happened on the bus; I just haven’t felt like documenting it. In the morning, my therapist and I talked about ways I could de-stress and decompress, and one of the ideas was walking home from work. When my sister had a long commute, she would be able to let go of things in the car–the car is a great bubble. Just think of the people you see singing or dancing along at stop lights.
I’ve found that I rush out of work to catch the bus, which may or may not be on time, to make it to the gym on time, while only walking short distances, when I could just walk the 2 miles home on my own schedule. I can pick my route and listen to music, and there’s always something new to see. Except for the time a guy followed me for 3 blocks, I’ve never had any problems. There’s no bubble on the bus, I said.
The ride home yesterday reinforced that. I did consider walking home, really, but I was so tired and my head hurt that I just wanted to get there. Since it still took about 40 minutes, I should have just walked, and maybe I would have felt better. The bus was 7 minutes late, which meant it was crowded. Not packed, but filling up. I sat in the front in a seat facing the aisle. As we continued on the route, more people boarded, but few people got off.
That sky looks crazy! the driver exclaimed. It’s bipolar weather! Over and over again. It wasn’t supposed to rain today. That woman was checking her phone and it said it wasn’t supposed to rain. There are drops on my windshield–right there and there!
Why is my bus so crowded? she’d ask when more people boarded. Because you’re late! So the bus is getting the people for that route plus the people who arrived early for the next route.
A man got on with a CD boombox box. The driver told him his transfer was for the wrong day (the 15th and not the 16th). He sat down across the aisle from me and started digging through his pockets. He said, sort of to the guy next to him, that that was the transfer he had just received. I was suspicious because he boarded at a non-transfer stop, and most people don’t walk to another stop; they just wait where they are. The driver called back and asked if he’d found the right transfer. We’re all just going to sit here until you find it, she said. No, he said, I gotta get a new one. A man standing nearby handed him his transfer; the guy went up to the driver and showed it, came back to his seat, and returned the transfer.
A man with a large (unlit) cigar boarded and stood at the front. At the next stop, more people boarded, including a woman with a cane. She loudly said Excuse me a few times to the cigar man, whose back was turned because he was chatting with someone behind him. Then she stood there. All the front seats were full; mine was the farthest away from her. I know I should have gotten up and offered my seat, but there was no place to go. A man sitting nearby, by the window, got up to get off at the next stop. The man next to him stood up to let him by, thereby blocking the aisle so that the people behind him had to squeeze past to exit through the front doors. Excuse me, a woman said as she maneuvered her way past him. You’re excused, the guy replied. The cigar man took the empty seat by the window. The woman with the cane got off at my stop. I could hear her behind me yelling behind me, Did you see that damn man wouldn’t move? That fucker just stood there…
A man in a manual wheelchair, propelling himself along with his feet, was at the stop ready to board. You getting on my bus? the driver called out to him, as I walked by, just trying to get home.