The Charm of Public Transit
The law firm I work for has moved downtown ... so I'm once again commuting to the city. Getting down with the people. Communing with all walks of life. Supporting public transportation. Meh.
Remember, I spent years as an advertising writer ... six of which were dedicated to Metro of Seattle. (yes, that famous tagline: "More People. More Places. More Often. Metro." was mine. *preen*) So I know the ostensible benefits of the bus.
But let's get real: the bus stinks. You are crowded into people that you may not ordinarily wish to share space with. It can be hot (or wet), and dirty, and there's a high likelihood you'll be interacting with a paranoid schizophrenic or two.
But now that I am a woman of a certain age, I've found new freedom in my interaction with the younger set on public transit ... and I know they're enjoying it as much as I am.
Just last night, I get on the bus and find myself in front of a would-be 15 year-old gangsta (of the Eminem or Vanilla Ice genre) sprawled across two seats. I'm hot, I'm tired, I want to read my book and make the ride go as fast as possible. For this, I need a seat. For this, I must interact with the little homey. Currently taking up two spaces.
"Which side would you like?" I inquire brightly. Before shoving myself into the seat beside him.
Surly yet surprised, he pulls himself up and arranges his blousily low-hanging synthetic rapperpants (is that a word?) as he reslouches into his now-narrower section of seat.
I balance my bag on my lap and pull out my book. He proceeds to periodically twitch and grab at the crotch of his pants, as if to reassure himself his anatomy is still there.
I put up with this in the periphery of my vision for a while. This twitching and grabbing.
Until finally, I give one of my patented snorts, look pointedly at his crotch right after one of his self-grabs and I chuckle.
And it's a miracle, Praise the Lord! I've cured his itch! He keeps his hands away from his crotch for the rest of the ride.
See, I couldn't have done that when I was 20.