Thursday, October 13, 2011


Since I have a job that requires a daily drive across the Columbia River, I was elated to have jury duty, and any chance to ride the bus. I know it sounds kooky, but I adore the experience that goes along with Trimet bus culture. 

At precisely 7:17 I hop on the 14 at 50th and Hawthorne, my hopes soaring high, as my friend told me "the last time she road the 14, the guy who wears the mickey mouse hat, and white tuxedo was riding and playing the slide whistle (not to mention handing out business cards to children)." Do you know that guy?He's terrible (but improving) at the trumpet, he occasionally totes a slide whistle or kazoo, and is often found near the Bagdad theater or at the base of the Hawthorne bridge. Dang, no tuxedos amidst the riders. 

On the bus, I take the first open seat I see.  Oh great, the only open seat is next to a woman with headphones, a cellphone, and a lollypop. Her jacket is half on my seat, and she doesn't care to move (this means, every time she moves, I move an inch or two  as well). Instantly, old lolly pop cellphone is on the phone, and she is lolly gagging around (besides, who has a lollypop at 7:00 am these days...let alone ever?). She was like "blah blah blah, did you here that Colin moved into a new house?" So I try not to ease drop about "Colin" (which isn't easy when he's right in your ear) and really embrace the bus ride. I notice that everyone wearing headphones seems to be listening to the same music, because everyone seems to be restlessly shaking their foot to the same beat (maybe techno, or salsa, or death metal? Yeah, it must have been death metal... for the young foot shakers and the old). The next thing I pay attention to is all of the riders with their eyes closed. I invent a game called "are you really asleep?" This game is hard to play, because unless someone happens to open their eyes, you casually throw an object at them, or shake them, there is no way to really know if someone was really asleep. The game ends, with no winner, and I think about the last time Alex and rode the bus and a man was drinking mouthwash across from us. (sigh) Oh bus, I've really missed you. 


  1. We meet the best people on buses. Shawn got drunk on the bus from Tucson to the airport in AZ whilst we chatted with a drifter sipping vodka out of a sippy cup about how he was smarter than us, because even though our hotel cost $89, you see, he slept in the lot across from the bus hub and he still had his $89.

  2. I think both parties are right in this situation!