"We are all of us living in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." ~Oscar Wilde
"Adventure is worthwhile in itself." ~Amelia Earhart

November 27, 2007

Bus riders frighten me


It's been years since I've taken a bus. Normally, I bicycle or walk wherever I need to go. A few days ago, though, I had to go to a dentist's appointment in an area I was unfamiliar with. Too far to walk and too cold to bicycle. The ride to the dentist's was pretty uneventful but the ride back was freakishly weird. When I got to the bus stop, I lit a cigarette and waited. Sitting on the bus bench was a chubby, middle-aged woman who was also smoking. A few minutes later, a man who looked to be in his fifties approached. When he saw us, he shouted, "Does everybody around here still smoke?" He then proceeded to tell us about his many friends who had died 30 years too young from the habit, including a friend who had died the day before his first grandson was born. :-( Eventually, Angry Ex-Smoker's bus came and we parted ways. Other than his penchant for berating perfect strangers, though, he seemed like a nice guy.

I jumped on the bus and rode to the point where I'd have to transfer, Chicago Avenue & Lake Street. If you've ever been to this area of Minneapolis, you'll know that it's not exactly Utopia. Though area businesses are constantly trying to brighten it up, it's basically...ghetto. I'm not afraid when walking through there but most suburban mothers would cling their children tightly to them and stare around shiftily. :-p When I arrived, a young, slender, black woman with two (adorable) children in tow was screaming at her boyfriend, "I told you the transfer expired. I sold my bus pass for nothing!" Apparently, there's a lot of 'screamy' people in this city. (Yes, I made up that word. I like it, dagnabit!)

Eventually, my bus came and I hopped on only to hear a woman three or four seats behind me reciting scripture in a conversational tone of voice. At one point during her reading, her companion told her, "Save them." in a cheerful voice. Street preachers provide me with endless entertainment.

But not one of those people scared me more than the tens of people who stared blankly forward zombie-like, emotionally dead to their surroundings. *shudder*

Are all bus rides that eventful? Or do I just not get out enough? :-p

1 comment:

Elliott - 21st Century Dad said...

I've been riding the bus lately, sometimes taking it 3-4 times a week to work.

Most people mind their own business.

The biggest irony is, you really don't see anyone talking on their cell phone, putting on makeup, or chowing down on drive-thru.