I ride the bus. I refuse to fight the masses of people driving into the city and then back out at the end of the day. I’d much rather pay someone $2.75 to have road rage and get me where I need to go.
The only problem is my commuter bus (that goes directly to and from my park & ride in <40 minutes) makes it’s last stop at 6:06pm. My shift ends at 6:30. You see the problem? Sometimes I get out early which is AWESOME! But most days I get to take the other bus which is always full (I’m talking standing-room-only full) of very stinky people. On top of that, I have to take a transfer which means my commute takes a smelly 1 1/2 hours. This never fails to put me in a crummy mood. I mean, as a nurse I’m used to smelly stuff but somehow the combination of rude people, stale smoke, B.O., and rarely washed clothing just turns my stomach. I’ll take plain ol’ vomit any day!
Anyways, I feel like there is an unspoken rule on the commuter bus that we’ll all be courteous–we line up peacefully at the bus stop, none of this pushing and every-man-for-himself mentality that happens with the other bus. We are business professionals after all! And above that, we practice good personal hygiene and don’t create stank.
I violated the rules on Monday.
See, I was trying to catch that commuter bus but had paperwork to complete which took me right up to the time I knew I had to leave work. When I glanced my bus arrival app, I nearly croaked. The bus was early, four minutes away! That meant I had to run downhill for seven city blocks. For those of you who haven’t visited the Emerald City, when I say hill, I don’t mean a nice rolling grade. I mean, be-careful-in-the-rain, heels-might-be-a-bad-idea, you-better-be-an-expert-with-that-stick-shift kind of hills.
I must have been a sight: slightly crazed-looking, hair blowing in the wind, lunchbag swinging off her left hand lady, pounding down Seneca Street. As I reached the the bottom of the hill at 2nd Avenue, I saw two buses lined up. Was that my bus? I couldn’t tell. I dodged foot traffic, a bus sticking out into the crosswalk, an SUV trying to turn, and saw that, yes, the front bus was mine. I put the burners on. People were seriously stepping out of my way as I barreled down the sidewalk. I just barely made it. The driver even gave me a huffy look as he reopened the doors.
Out of breath, I searched for an empty forward-facing seat (oh yeah, I get bus-sick). Finding a somewhat friendly female face, I slide in next to her and just sat for a minute, lunchbag in lap. We were nearly out of the city when I caught a whiff of something bad.
Is that me? From running? I’ve never had b.o. that smelled like that. Can’t be me… What the H is that smell?? We continued down the interstate and for some reason I shifted my lunchbag. My lap was wet. What is that stuff? Ohhhhh nooooo! I’d forgotten a drink container previously full of berry smoothie at work over the weekend. There had only been a tiny amount left, but I hadn’t washed it out before throwing it in the bag and somewhere between 9th and 2nd Avenue, it had tipped over and the fermented contents were now soaked into my lap. Oh my gosh, it IS me! I’m the stinky person on the bus today! Well, shit, I guess I can’t be so judgmental next time I take the other bus.