I decided to drive to work today. BIG MISTAKE.
Yesterday the “express” bus was early. I saw it arrive as I was racing down Olive Street to catch it. There it was like a beacon, waiting, as I stood on the corner across the street with a gigantic red light staring at me. I knew the light would not change in time. I knew I wasn't going to make it so there was no point in running so I just opted to take the “regular” bus (or as I refer to it, the gente bus)… that’s the bus that stops one hundred and fifty-five times and has a various assortment of folks getting on and off, and passengers racing to get to the good seat that has just been vacated. Needless to say it was crowded with humanity and luckily I managed to get a seat by the window where I stayed put. It was a super crowded ride home and the one good thing about being an older gal is that you don't have to feel guilty for sitting and not offering your seat to someone older than you because you're old too.
Halfway home our bus driver pulls over and stops and instructed all of us to de-bus and get on the bus behind us. “What? Do I have to pay again?” No. So everyone on the bus empties out and gets on the other bus that was more crowded than the first bus we were on. Add to that the one crazy man up front talking nonstop to the poor bus driver who didn’t have the heart to punch him in the throat. You will get one of these crazies at least once a week. There was once a drug addicted meth addict who got on the bus in East LA and then cursed a blue streak while she talked to herself. She become so unruly at one point that the bus driver had to step in and scold her. Her response? She got off at the next stop and told everyone to go fuck themselves.
I got home at 7 pm. An hour and fifteen minutes to travel thirteen miles. Yes. Thirteen Miles. On a Saturday with no traffic it takes 20 minutes to drive it. But this isn’t Saturday. THAT is why I decided to drive in today. I didn’t want to deal with a crowded, hot bus and the dregs of humanity breathing on me. Know how long it took me to get to work? An hour and 15 minutes. By the time I got to work I needed a nap.
|See the stairs ... horrible.|
Most days I take the bus. But once I get off the walk to my office consists of climbing up 180 stairs of which I have to stop and rest, pant, and then I can continue on as younger, fitter dick wads race past me two steps at a time. Years ago right beside this stairway was the famous Angel’s Flight which was a little cable car on a tram that carried you up to Bunker Hill where my office is. Unfortunately, several years ago the little cable car came careening down the track killing an elderly man who was inside it and it has been out of use ever since. So now, I have to climb the steps, which for me is me akin to climbing Everest except that it smells like urine, is littered with dog shit, old hypodermic needles, broken beer bottles and an occasional bum wrapped in a blanket talking to himself.
This is my morning commute. Every. Day.