Since coming to California I’ve been forced to experience the real world like a real cultured person. (Candy-coated with a cherry on top and low-cal frosting, but nonetheless still a real person.) Someone who has to take the bus! To anyone out there who has grown up taking the bus, or subway, I realize that I may come off as being spoiled or sheltered…mainly because…well…maybe I am. But it’s also partly due to my small town roots. No one takes the bus in a small town, and therefore I was simply just unaccustomed to it.
But now that I’m off in Cali and my car is in Canada, I’m stuck taking the bus.
You know you are in need of some more excitement when the only interesting thing you have to tell your friend is a creepy/embarrassing riding the bus story. And let me just preface by saying that pretty much everyday I manage to acquire a memorable bus moment…and not in a good way! I think it’s to make up for all of the years I didn’t have to take the bus or subway.
As hard as I try not to make a fool of myself, taking the bus seems to be more powerful than my will to keep myself calm, composed, and lady-like.
The following is a detailed list of my bus mishaps and terrifying moments as told by a previously sheltered mama’s girl.
1. Take a moment to picture this. There’s a woman. (me) Wearing heels (duhh), in a skirt…fairly long because the construction workers in California creep me out… And I’m carrying a knapsack. A big fucking mother-load of a knapsack, filled with lots of heavy textbooks. Now I’m running. Yes, RUNNING. To the bus. I see it a block away and if I miss it, I’ll have to wait for G-d knows how long to catch the next one… Okay, so maybe it would only be around ten minutes but still…I’ve got places to go and people to see and my patience is about as small as Eminem’s penis. Sweating underneath California’s hot sun (Thank G-d!), tripping on the uneven sidewalk, running with a big bulky knapsack that is smacking my butt every time I take a step because I’ve been too lazy to tighten the straps so that it sits higher on my back. So here I am running, butt grinding with my knapsack, skirt flipping in all directions, boobs probably also dancing around cause I don’t have a sports bra on… And there is everyone probably watching, probably laughing, staring, and pointing…but I don’t notice because I’m dead set on catching this bus. So there I am, merely steps away from the bus that will determine my fate…my fate of what time I’ll get home at… Truly important, life altering stuff here…or not.
Anyways, I’m now beside the bus. I scurry up to the front door, and it closes. Yes, It FUCKING closes. but THEN! MIRACULOUSLY. The bus driver has a heart. He sees me there, staring in through the translucent glass with a tired, sweaty, anxious look on my face, and with butt bruises to prove it. And with true grace, he opens the doors for me. I know it was probably inappropriate for me to kiss the bus driver, but I just couldn’t help it…I felt so much love for him at that moment. No, I’m totally just fucking with you. I didn’t kiss the bus driver…but I wanted too! What a beautiful, beautiful man! Although maybe it was a woman?…I don’t know…I was so focused on getting to the bus.
2. My next embarrassing bus moment takes place on a crowded bus. On my way to class in the morning, I often get onto a completely packed bus, where I end up having to stand in the stairwell by the back doors because there is no room to actually move onto the main level. So here I was on a regular early morning bus, completely aware of my usual drill of getting in and out of the bus stairwell in order to let people off at their stops, when one day I got caught in a embarrassing situation. The bus doors opened for people to get off; I went to step off the bus in order to let them out, but my purse and part of my skirt were stuck in between the wall and the doors. So I was literally caught in the doorway, and people couldn’t get passed me on my side of the stairwell. Everyone had to exit the bus on the other side of the railing because I was blocking the one side. A guy on the bus tried to yank my purse loose, but it was completely stuck. So I had to wait for the bus driver to close the doors in order for me to move. I was literally, “CAUGHT” in an embarrassing bus situation. I apologized to the people who had to squish through to the other side of the exit because I was blocking the one side. Embarrassing? hell yeah!
3. My third embarrassing bus moment involves a moving bus. (When I said that I had a lot of embarrassing bus moments, I literally meant it.) So here I was on a moving bus. It was coming up to my stop so I thought I would get up from my seat so that when the doors would open to let me off I’d be ready to get off, and therefore the bus wouldn’t have to waste any time waiting for me. (A lot of people do this.) But I was doing this with a knapsack on my back, high heels on my feet, and while the bus was going up an incline hill. I bet you can probably guess what I’m going to say next.
I went flying!! The bus jerked and I jetted forward then whipped back into my seat, kinda bumping the woman sitting beside me. Once again, I apologized, waited for the bus to completely stop, then quickly scurried off the bus cause everyone saw me go flying and it was really embarrassing. But of course, because I was trying to get off the bus so fast and we we’re stopped on an incline hill I continued stumbling all over the place as I was stepping down the stairs and onto the sidewalk. I’m pretty sure everyone on the bus probably thought I was drunk. And it was noon. Oh boy. I swear I was completely sober. Apparently, I just enjoy making a fool of myself on the bus. However, I at least learned from this embarrassing situation, and I now wait until the bus is completely stopped to get up. Screw it if people have to wait an extra second for me to walk to the door and get off.
3. Now we’re getting into the more freaky bus moments. Maybe sometimes I overstress about sketchy things that happen on the bus, but I honestly can’t help it. I feel so trapped on the bus, like I’m at the mercy of all the other passengers. What if a fight breaks out? Once, these two guys started arguing about something stupid like who deserved to sit and who should stand. They we’re really going at it! I was sitting right by them and praying so hard that they wouldn’t cause a bigger commotion!
4. I was sitting in front of a couple of drug dealers one day. They started talking about dealing cocaine, then they started talking about crystal meth, then they moved on to an anecdote about a time when their urge to kill was rising. (Again, I was just praying to get off the bus safely!)
5. I hear the darnedest phone conversations on the bus. This one guy was talking to his friend telling his buddy that he already warned him the girl he apparently had sex with was a whore. He was like, “Man, I told you! And you didn’t listen!” All I know, is that this girl was quite the promiscuous lady…just tickling the pickles of everyone she could.
6. There was an almost theft that happened one time when I was on the bus. It was really crowded and a bunch of people were standing. I guess this guy started grabbing for a guy’s wallet, but luckily the guy was with a woman on the bus who was sitting far enough away from him to see that a guy was reaching for his wallet. So the woman started yelling to her husband/friend/relative or whoever, to watch his wallet! The entire bus could hear! And the thief started denying that he was going for this guy’s wallet. But it was pretty clear that he was, considering the urgency in the woman’s voice as she was warning this guy to watch his wallet in the middle of the act!
The first thing that people warned me about when I came to San Francisco was that pick pockets are one of the most popular crimes! Apparently at bars, people will grab cell phone’s from women’s purses even when they are holding onto their purse or when their purse is sitting beside them on the chair. I was warned to always wear a purse that has a zipper when I go out to bars.
7. A couple weeks ago I was walking home from the art supply store in the middle of the day, when out of nowhere a middle-aged guy walking with a long rigid black baton or metal bar of some sort swung it at my head! It scared the hell out of me! I jumped away from it and luckily he was far enough away that it didn’t hit me, but he definitely swung it at head level! He seemed to get off on the fact that it scared me. He screamed, “Yeah…BAM!” I sped up my walking, and kept checking my back to make sure he didn’t follow me. Luckily he kept walking in his direction, and I kept walking in mine.
But anyways, the reason I bring this story up, is because it leads me to my next bus story. The very next day a different guy, who was also carrying a big black baton, got on the bus and sat uncomfortably close to me. And to make matters worse he was singing pretty loudly, which made me suspect that maybe he wasn’t well. After my experience the previous day, I decided not to risk staying on the bus until my stop, so I just got off the bus right where we were at that point. Man, I had a LONG walk home that day, filled with lots of steep hills.
I hope you enjoyed my rant about my bus adventures. And the moral of the story is…
I miss my car!