Saturday, May 10, 2008

Metro Journal: May 9 St John's Urge

This morning Richard asks me where I've been since I hadn't taken the bus all week. I explain that I ended up taking different buses because I was running about 5 minutes late every morning. He asks if I'm going to do anything with my mother for Mother's Day. I say, no, she lives in Florida. "Oooooh! Florida! You're from Florida!" I explain that we moved there from Iowa. "Ooooh, I grew up in Des Moines! Where in Iowa?" "Sioux City." "Ooooooh, we played them in football once when I was in high school!" He almost misses two stops. People have to remind him to stop.

When I got on the 780 and start walking back, I see a golden retriever's head sticking out from under a woman's seat at the front. I'm going, what the hell is a dog doing on the bus, and then realize the woman is holding the hand of the woman next to her, speaking sign language into it. The other woman is also carrying one of those visually-impaired white walking sticks.

When I left work, there were two people waiting for the DASH (they didn't get on the 10 when it passed by) so I figured it was safe to wait, too, as I was a few minutes past the scheduled arrival, but it was probably just running a couple minutes late, too. Another westbound 10 goes by. Two eastbound 10s go by. Two southbound DASHes go by. Still no northbound DASHes. I stand there well over 25 minutes, more than enough time for one to come, then give up and start walking to Western. I stop at each DASH stop and poke my head out to see if one is coming. At one point I see a bus's headsign that looks like it could be a DASH, but no, it's another westbound 10. Oh, wait, there's another headsign right behind it. No, another 10. Oh, wait, there's another headsign right behind the second one. No, yet another 10. Scores:

Westbound 10s: 5 Eastbound 10s: 2 Southbound DASH: 2 Northbound DASH: 0

When I get to Western, waiting for a northbound Metro (two lines run it), I keep an eye out. Still no DASH. By the time my bus comes, it's been 40 minutes since I left work and not a single one.

I'd love to say this is an anomaly, but the evening DASHes are notoriously unreliable. And unless you're watching and start flailing your arms when one goes by, it will just go by. I am not joking. This is a favorite topic when a couple of us are out waiting for one. I'm almost considering getting a flare gun to see if that's what it takes.

Anyway, when I sit down on the 207, the guy in the seat behind me is rifling through a plastic grocery bag. I realize he's making a peanut butter sandwich, because I can smell the peanut butter even without turning around.

There's an urgent care center on Western that, for as long as I can remember, has had the lights in the last half of the sign out. So instead of reading, "St John's Urgent Care Center," it just says, "St John's Urge." I like it. It would make a cool band name. It makes me wonder exactly what St John's urge would have been.

Some teenager gets on the bus and apparently just start shoving money into the machine, apparently without paying attention. The driver asks him what he's doing. "You can't just stuff money in there. Be careful! Be careful!" The teenager sits near the front, trash-talking with his buddy. There's a kid with his mother right across the aisle. Even with the string of four-letter words that occasionally pops out of my mouth, it always bugs me when people do that on the bus. At least have a little respect before you start talking shit around a kid, you fucking asshole. When the dumbass gets off, the driver tells him, "Be careful! Be careful! You gotta be careful!"

When we get to Sunset, the driver announces, "LAST (2 second pause) STOP (2 second pause) HOLLYWOOD (2 second pause) WESTERN (2 second pause)." Even though the bus is half-full, strongly implying that he's clearly going to stop there no matter what and shove our butts off ths bus if necessary, this announcement still prompts one woman to pull the stop request rope. Now a dumbass teenager doing something like that I could understand...

He makes the same announcement, the pauses getting a little longer each time, a couple more times. I don't think he had to shove anyone off physically when we got to the last stop.

The 780 is predictably full. I end up sitting in the first empty seat, which was near the back, where 3 or 4 teenagers are sitting, talking about what ethnicity of restaurant has the hottest women. I just don't feel like trying to ignore this conversation at that point, so at the next stop when someone getting off frees a seat a couple rows ahead of me, I move to it.

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