Friday, April 18, 2008

OHIO/CINNKY: A day on the busses

The Kristymobile died today. For the uninitiated: The Kristymobile was my rapidly deteriorating 2002 Chevy Tracker that I've been driving since April of 2005. It's my longest car ever (it beat out the much loved Beretta I drove for 2.5 years). It will take thousands of dollars to fix due to the fact there's something broken inside the engine, which means they can't even diagnose the problem without taking it apart, and probably means they have to put a brand new engine in it -- it's just not worth it at this point. What's funny is that TY was in the car with me yesterday in Oxford and I had made the off-remark that "my car sounds funny," but it was the kinda sound that you usually associate with "I need to get something done eventually." On my way to work last night, that little noise turned into a rumble, a shake, and then dead, and I rolled my happy ass down Purcell, praying I would be able to pull the emergency brake correctly and not end up a) in someone's yard, b) blocking a driveway, or c) in the back end of someone's car.

So, before I get to the point of this blog, let's all take a moment to say goodbye to the Kristymobile, RIP 4-17-08.

That said, I got to do something I have come to enjoy over the last couple of months as problems mounted with the Kristymobile... ride the Metro.

I think, unlike most residents, I kind of enjoy the experience. I feel like Lisa Simpson saying "the vehicle of the masses!" The entire rest of the bus and the rest of the world is annoyed by this, but I really do like it, especially on nice days like this. Granted, I had to ride the bus a few months ago without a hat or gloves and just a light jacket, standing at a stop at Bond Hill at 630am in -2 degree weather and with a light breeze -- that particular experience was not as much fun, but today it was wonderful. Clear, sunny day, very few clouds in the sky, and just a beautiful day to walk around.

However, I have a stiff learning curve. I managed to leave my house at 245pm to catch the at 313pm at the corner of Purcell and Bassett up near where I live. The 10, theoretically, would take me to Government Square where I would have time for a cigarette, and then I would hop onto the 43 and head out to work and be there in plenty of time to be at work at 430pm. I had my bag, my cigarettes, my mp3 player, and the book -- for the hour or so trip, I was set.

...or so I thought.

I had parked my butt on the what I believed (and know now that I was correct) to be the proper side of the rode, so when the 10 comes rolling up Bassett the other directions, I make a dart for it without thinking. The driver takes a right off of Bassett and onto Elberon... silly me, not really wanting to seem dumb about this, I just figured we were looping onto Glenway and back down. I get into my book -- now, mind you, I'm, at this point, on page 93 -- and when I look up, we've made it to Nebraska Avenue which is very far from where I needed to be. Oops. Somewhere around Home Depot -- a 15 minute trip in my car straight from my house -- the bus driver looks back at me and says "first time on the bus?" "yea, why?" "you got on the wrong side of the rode didn't you?" She was very pleasant and let me pop out for a cigarette at one of the stops she had to hang out and poked fun at me the rest of the way -- even reminding me when I should pull the little chain to get off downtown at Government Square.

I am deposited on Main Street. It is now, btw, 430pm, time for me to be at work, downtown, on Government Square, on a Friday afternoon. The place is hopping. But I shrug, find a spot, whip my book back out, light a cigarette, and settle in for what I think is going to be a few more minutes waiting.

Wrong. The 43 is there. Throwing a cigarette out at this point -- when I'm contemplating quitting and am thinking that any of these cigarettes could be the prelude to my final one of my life -- is a major sin and I feel like I should have just prodded out the light and stuck it back in the pack. But I didn't have time for delicacy... I was on the A station, and my bus was at the C. And I got onto a very busy bus with Donna Summer's Funky Town in my ear. Fabulous. I have a broken ear piece, btw, so I go around with only one bud in, but, apparently, my other bud decides to work as I'm handing over my transfer ticket and startles the poor driver of this new bus with Gotta make a move to a town that's right for me... blasting out.

I am at work now, thank god. And I am now on page 215 of my book. And, btw, I rolled up in here at about 515. That's right kids, it took me two and a half hours to get here, but I'll know which bus to take next time.
Regardless, the experience was meditative, and I think I'm going to take the opportunity to ride the busses at least once a week. I usually have the time, and it's really quite ... well, it's almost pleasant. But this may be my annoyingly happy mood creeping into my decision making process again, so we'll see, shall we?

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