Friday, January 21, 2011

The Bus

Or, Sandra B.'s Got Nothing On Me.

Yesterday, I worked at a different location than normal.  With snow still on the ground from the last storm and more snow predicted for last night-into-this-morning, I opted to leave my bike home and take public transportation.

Wait, I don't think I've told you about my new bike (unless you're my pal on Facebook. Or in real life.)....

 You can't see it, because of the helmet, but I'm sticking my tongue out in this picture.

Mike and I had talked about upgrading my ride, but every time the topic came up seriously, I would freak out.  Large purchases do that to me.  Hell, I remember when I was going to St. Joseph's University for undergrad and calling my mom from the parking lot of a Borders because I'd just bought a compact OED for myself....  What college student has $500 to drop on a dictionary? That comes with a magnifying glass?

Anyway, my wonderful husband surprised me on my birthday with this sweet ride.  It's a 2010 BMW G650GS and I rode it off of the lot with 4 miles back in August.  I've been riding it ever since, as much as I can.  In fact, I took it out yesterday morning before going to work to run some errands.  And, I should have taken it to work, but, like I said, there was snow in the forecast.

So.

My commute into work was uneventful.  I took a new-to-me bus, something I always enjoy.  This one had a route that wrapped around the back of LaSalle University and took me through parts of the city I hadn't traveled through before.

My work day was relatively uneventful - working with the public, there's ALWAYS an event.  But yesterday, nobody decided to howl at the full moon (metaphorically or literally. Because that's happened. Once.).  I even got to work with the children, just like the old days of Summer 2010*....  Ahhhh, memories.

I left work and experienced that rare but wonderful feeling of paying my fare just as the next train arrived.  I was quite chuffed and was even more pleased when I came up from underground to see the next leg of my commute pulling up.  Smugly, I thought, "I'm going to be home so early! It's going to be as if I tried to get home in less than 15 minutes!" *Mental fist pump*

The snow predicted for the evening had yet to start.  The roads were clear of traffic, slush, and ambling jaywalkers. Even the traffic lights switched green as the bus approached each intersection.  I couldn't believe my good fortune.  I couldn't have piloted a better trip home myself!  And then the bus made an unexpected left turn and my eyes darted up to the electronic display at the front of the bus and I realized I was on the wrong bus. 

Injured? Just my dignity...
I thought, almost instantly, of Speed.  I've never seen the movie, but I know it's about a bus that gets taken hostage, and there's a bomb involved.  Actually, what I thought of was that episode of Seinfeld where George's dad talks about movies he's seen recently: The Bus, starring the girl from The Net.  I briefly entertained the idea of begging and pleading with the bus driver to take me home, and (as a last resort) commandeering the bus.  Instead, I rationalized that I'm within walking distance of the house, it's not snowing, the sidewalks are relatively clear, and I could use a brisk walk home in my sensible librarian shoes.

I pulled the cord and got off at the next stop.  I called Mike to let him know I'd done something stupid: "Hey, it's me.  I kinda took the wrong bus home.  I took the WTC R and not the H&M R**, so I'm at 30th and Allegheny and I'm just going to walk home now."  To his credit, he had a margarita waiting for me when I finally trudged up the back steps.

My walk home was pleasant enough - nobody tried to break out of the juvenile detention center er, I mean, juvenile residential treatment center as I ambled up the deceptively not-wee hill (it's a slightly more gradual incline, but nevertheless, it has to go up to my home's elevation).  And even with this detour-of-sorts, I still made it home earlier than I would have on the correct bus.  So, point to me, right?



*I made the switch from Children's work to Adult/Teen librarianship in September.  I'm enjoying the new challenges, for sure, and gaining an appreciation for public service at all ages. But, it's nice to be able to fill in as a Children's Librarian without feeling like OMG, these children are going to devour my soul!!! (Note: it totally still feels like that a little.)

**In my defense, this particular bus has two routes.  These routes are only distinguished by the fine print (which is perfectly readable from street-side, just not when one is wearing smug-colored commuting glasses...).  Also, I thought the variation on this route was a weekend-only route.  And, I've only ever seen the H&M R bus because that's the one that goes by my house - the other one barely comes within a mile of my abode. Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever taken this bus home before.  Still, what the hell!??!

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