Hungry like the wolves

You may not believe me, but 5 days out of the week, I do battle.  Public transportation battle.  And believe me, it's one of the most intense types of battling you can do.  You don't believe me, do you?  Well believe what I write next then re-read the first sentence and believe.  Believe me, it's unbelievable.
It all starts when I hop on the #13 bus every morn to travel to my respective career.  The ride is always relatively quiet and uneventful.  Passengers get on and take their seats, using every ounce of their social stamina to avoid smiling or making eye contact.  They cough and read, and the bus jerkily rumbles on.  It all works like a clock that is working really well.  That is, until we get to 3rd and Bell.  

As you all know, when a bus reaches a stop, the customary line of action is to allow passengers to get off FIRST, then have waiting passengers get ON.  3rd and Bell, however, does things a little differently.  When the bus driver yells aloud "Next stop, 3rd and Bell!" I make fists with my hands and grit my teeth.  I perch on my tagged bus seat in the same way Michael Johnson did on his starting blocks at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia.  When the bus stops and those side doors slide open, it's battle time.  

I explode out of my chair and hit the top of the steps, only to be greeted by a sea of expressionless faces clawing their way towards the small crevice of hope that just folded open.  They stare up and begin to snarl.  I take a deep  breath and begin to cut a swath through the pack of lumbering souls who thirst only for the inexplicable comfort of a recently vacated tagged bus seat:    

The neatly dressed accountant with fancy gloves and a rolled up New Yorker poses no threat - we exchange small push blows and steely stares before I leave him behind.  

Next up is the pink-haired, Hello Kitty-backpack-wearing, disenchanted teenager who skipped school to go to Hot Topic downtown and smoke a cigarette.  She poses a much more dangerous threat, never looking up from the display screen of her pink 2 GB iPod Nano.  We shoulder tackle each other, but her extremely light weight coupled with the laws of kinetic force shift her to the side. 

Finally, I find myself standing before the final obstacle between myself and the crisp refreshing air of freedom.  This mysterious vagabond is wearing a hooded jacket over several layers of sweat pant material and a heather gray 1996 Seattle Supersonics Western Conference Champions t-shirt.  He's unphased by my quick movements,  choosing to simply stand in the way and stare at me with glossed-over eyes and a slightly opened mouth.  Lucky for me, he's decided to use the hand rails to stabilize himself.  I quickly dart underneath his arm, finding myself immediately surrounded by the Horde.  

They pay no attention to me, their eyes fixated on their final destination.  Their collective shuffling turns my situation into a football push pad drill.  After several shoves and reroutes (and a few expletives), I break free and discover open sidewalk.  I bend over to catch my breath.

This morning, I've won the battle.  But there is no time to celebrate.  Another battle awaits somewhere around 5:00PM.                                           

1 comment:

Melissa said...

you should try elbow pads and then just thrash those things around in the air. always worked for me. or try not taking showers. that seems to work for a lot of other people.