Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Just another day

This afternoon, I'm running late for an appointment about a mile away, just north of the river. I catch a cab outside my office building. The cab driver greets me enthusiastically, asking if I'm in a hurry. "Not too much of a hurry," I say, not wanting to goad him into warp speed. Sometimes cabbies are a bit too "enthusiastic" for me. But he doesn't go crazy and start accelerating like mad. Instead he launches into a rant about how Americans are ruining the Middle East, complete with plenty of four-letter words. He rages about being called a "camel jockey" when he first came to the U.S. from Iran several years ago. I'm sympathetic, but happy to leave the cab when we reach my destination. I walk back to the office from my appointment.

I leave Stitch n' Bitch tonight and enter the nearby Blue Line el station. I just miss a train and prepare to wait for several minutes. Moments later, a band of rowdy folks descend to the platform. (Will I sound like a crotchety old person if I say they are rowdy young folks?) I'm not really paying them any attention as I concentrate on my book. A train pulls into the station, but it's a short train so it doesn' t pull up to the front of the platform. We rush down the platform to enter the first car. All the seats are already full so we stand. Two stations later as the I grab a recently vacated seat I hear one of the rowdies standing near the doors say very loudly "Oh, man that cool wind feels so good on my balls. My balls are HOT!" Everyone in the car has heard this (unless they are completely isolated by whatever is coming through their headphones), but no one reacts in any way. Just before I reach my station, I move to the doors and wait. A young man moves to the doors next to me. He reeks of marijuana. I feel like I'm getting stoned just standing next to him.

At the bus platform, I stand awaiting the bus with a handful of others. The night is not terribly cold, but it still seems unnecessarily cruel to be standing here with the bus parked and running about 50 feet away, just short of the platform. The driver has taken a break and left the bus. Some gasps of discomfort lead to words of commiseration exchanged between the expectant passengers. Bus drivers certainly deserve breaks, but it just seems like they taunt us when they do this. The bus is here, but we cannot board it. It is warm and well-lit, but we stand shivering in the night until the driver comes back, enters the bus, pulls up to the platform, and opens the doors.

I reach home -- finally -- and unload: off comes the backpack loaded with laptop and files, the knitting bag, my purse, and my outer layers of hat/scarf/parka. I change into some comfy lounging clothes. I pour myself two fingers of single malt scotch, sit down in front of the TV, and pull out some knitting.

As Scarlett O'Hara said, "Tomorrow is another day."

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