Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Monday, April 11, 2011

# 18 - westbound

I waited in the drizzle with my two boxes and got on the bus at Brook & Cardinal. The bus was a little full so I stood up front and put the boxes on the shelf. The guy across the aisle from me asked me ("Miss") if I knew the time. A woman stood up to talk to the driver and spent the rest of my ride trying to figure out where she had gotten on the bus in the morning so she knew what stop to get off now.

# 21- westbound
When my doctor's appointment ended at 4:45, it was pouring rain. I had a small umbrella, no raincoat, and two boxes still. R. was at work with no umbrella and was not going to walk 8 blocks east to meet me just so we could then walk 8+ blocks west and north to get home. I told him I could catch the #4 across the street and it would take me to Jefferson. I stood under the overhang of the parking garage and peeked out every few minutes to see if the bus was coming. TARC really needs a mobile website. Then I saw it approaching the light. The bus moved into the left lane--I was on the right side. The bus drove past and didn't stop. I've gotten off at that stop before so I'm not sure why it didn't stop, but I need to check that out. [edit: The #4 was definitely supposed to stop at Chestnut & Preston. argh]

I decided there was no point waiting on Chestnut anymore since it's eastbound and I needed to go west and the #4 apparently was not an option. I walked north on Preston towards Muhammad Ali. Under cover of a building, I called R. to say what was happening. We had a side conversation about our closing date before I said I needed to go because it was raining and I didn't know when the bus came. I was not quite at the corner when the #19 drove past (westbound) on Muhammad Ali. No problem, I thought. The 21 comes this way, too--I'll just get that one. And it's a covered bus stop! I checked the schedule. The 21 was supposed to come at 5:05. The 19 was supposed to come at 4:59 and 5:14. It was 5:07. There were no other buses in view. A woman smoked at the bus stop and coughed occasionally as we both waited. Traffic crawled past as everyone tried to get on the on-ramp to I-65.

I thought I saw a bus in the distance but it never seemed to be moving. A man came up to the stop. This motherfuckin rain has gotta stop. It's messing up my day. I need to get on a motherfuckin bus... He spoke to the woman a little bit. Then she said in a loud voice My name is Erica. What's your name? You're asking a lot of questions to someone you don't know. The man talked some more - motherfuckin this, motherfuckin that. Erica turned to me and said something about us waiting 30 minutes for the bus to get through the light. I responded, It's been moving so slow, I wasn't sure if it was really there. Erica sang a little bit.

Two express buses headed to Indiana drove by (they had turned onto Muhammad Ali from Brook and avoided the backup on the other side of the light). Finally, the 19 approached. About a bus length from the stop, the bus stopped and the driver opened the door. It was just after 5:30. The other people at the stop said they weren't going out in the rain. I'm already wet, I thought, and I want that bus. So I darted off. A passenger on the bus leaned out the door and yelled to the other people that they had to board here because if the driver pulled over to the curb, she'd never get back into traffic. Everyone boarded.

Once we passed the on-ramp, traffic picked up. A young man who appeared to have an umbrella and who was perfectly dry complained that he'd have to make a run for it to catch his transfer. He tried to get off at the corner of 1st Street, but the driver wouldn't let him off because it wasn't a stop. He got off at the actual stop on the other side of the light.

At 4th Street, more passengers boarded and the driver apologized for being late. I had to sit through that light 10 times. A new passenger smiled and said Who said you were late? The driver complained about that earlier stretch of her route and how she dreads it every day. I meant to get off at 8th Street but got off one stop too soon and then walked up to the corner to meet R. who had borrowed a large umbrella from someone at work. We got home just before 6 p.m. I left the wet boxes at the stop at Preston & Muhammad Ali.

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