Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Metro Journal: May 27 Not In Service

This morning I had excellent timing, never waiting more than 2-3 minutes for a connecting bus. I knew I would miss the DASH, so I got off at Western. When I got off the 757 at Melrose and walked to the crosswalk, waiting for the light I saw the westbound 10 coming! I crossed, gloating because it was a morning of perfect timing, and then I look back at the bus, which was stopped at the light. "Not In Service." I walk the rest of the way to work, not getting passed by any westbound 10s.

I got some unsettling news from my mother in the late afternoon. It left me rather dazed. I walked out of the gates a couple minutes after 6, and as no one was waiting for the DASH, I figured I was SOL, and began my dazed walk towards Western. Halfway there I was passed by a west/northbound DASH, although somewhat suspiciously its headsign was not turned on. I needed to move, anyway. I spent more time looking down at my feet than usual, and had to force my head up to pay attention to my surroundings. And even with all that time staring at my feet, I still had my daily sidewalk faceplant near-miss.

The 780 was pretty crowded. I ended up sitting in the very back in the corner, which I usually eschew, but I just wanted to limit contact with humans as much as possible. The seats directly in front of the back row sit perpendicular, with their backs to the windows. A man sat in the seat right in front of me and pulled out a rather gross-looking sandwich. I normally have this thing about smelling other people's food, particularly in places I don't want to smell other people's food (don't ask what happens in the microwave on the floor my cubicle is on at work), and today in particular, my stomach was already unhappy. Sandwich man got off a couple stops later, only to be replaced by a couple, the woman in his vacant seat and the man right next to me. They were speaking Spanglish and their non-stop conversation was just grating on my fried nerves. A few random phrases in English I managed to pick out, in spite of my best efforts to ignore the human race: "He wanted to beat her up." "She's an ok person."

After an eternity of torture, they finally got off.

When the 780 got to my stop, the back door opened on this gaggle of giggly teenagers and their mothers. We're talking total mob. The sidewalk is rather wide at that point, but the slow-moving group was impassable.

I have this thing about sidewalk etiquette. Most sidewalks in my area are what I call two-laners, wide enough for two people walking from opposite directions to pass each other, usually without issue. What really annoys the hell out of me is when two people are walking side-by-side, and don't make room for someone to pass them either from in front or behind. When I'm coming up face-to-face with this type of situation, I play Sidewalk Chicken. I have a deceptively mild face, but dammit, I'm not stepping into the grass to wait for your rude asses to pass me. I will stand my ground. Or rather, walk my sidewalk. This is something I am acutely aware of not doing to people when I'm the one walking with another. Unfortunately, it's one of those inconsiderate behaviors that transcends age, sex, or culture.

Inconsiderate giggly teenagers and their equally inconsiderate mothers? Not In The Mood.

They were just lucky I was too wiped to start using my excessively-politely-insulting "Excuse me" voice.

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