Originally uploaded by unfocused mike.
If I was so inclined, I bet I could devote every posting on this blog to stories from my daily public transport commute.
In the mornings, most of us are pre-caffeinated which says it all. And in the afternoons, we're all so world-weary that we all seem to have our ipods in, but I bet none of us could list the last 3 songs we heard.
Tonight I watched as a young guy, eyes closed, nodded in that half-sleep common amongst public transporters, as he leaned this way...and then that way...and then forwards, all the while threatening to topple over onto his adjacement passenger (who pretended not to notice, though I am sure she did).
And then there's German Lady, who has been my public transport nemesis for nearly three years. Only ever on my afternoon commute, she always pushes in front of me in the bus line, even though we both know I got there before her.
German Lady usually sits across the aisle from Crazy Hair Lady who is a) deaf as a post, and b) always sick - so you can imagine the delight my bus takes in listening to their banal chatting and constant sniffing the whole way home.
Let's not forget Young Gay Man With The Italian Handbag who (again) pushes in front of me, though this time to get off my morning bus. He is therefore ahead of me in line for a coffee. I can't decide whether to trip him, or offer him my sympathies for the way his coffee deprivation makes him such a jerk.
And of course, last but never least, is the swarm of accountants that floods my afternoon bus ride. They all seem to carry about 4 heavy bags each, and one of those bags is usually a company-issued backpack that I really hope they are obliged to tote (otherwise, why would you?).
Despite all our differences, I'm sure that if I canvassed the opinions of my fellow commuters - morning or night - we'd be united in our common frustration with bus drivers.
They jam 500 of us into a bus that is (I'm sure) only designed to carry a fraction of that amount, and then they ride their brake and accelerator all the way into the city. Except, that is, on the strech of Lakeshore Drive when the traffic lets up and they can careen at break-neck speed until they have to slam on the brakes to avoid hitting anything - or anyone.
And so we grip on for all that we can, slipping and sliding in unison, crashing into seated or standing passengers, making polite apologies and collectively rolling our eye-balls in the direction of the lovechild of Sandra Bullock & Evil Kanevil in whose very hands we have commended our lives.
But don't misunderstand me.
I'm not complaining about any of these things; quite to the contrary in fact. The only thing I really dislike about public transport in Chicago is waiting in the rain - and that's not really something that anyone can help....but until they can, I'll blame The Young Gay Man With The Italian Handbag. Just for fun.