Tuesday, November 9, 2010

It's so nice when two people hit it off

King County Metro Route 54, 7:54 AM

The tires on my Ford Ranger unnaturally chafed against the curb as I straightened the steering wheel. I had found a spot on the street, and the Metro bus, the second leg of my commute downtown, approached rapidly from behind. I tumbled out of the door, snagging my bag on the gear shift and slammed the door partially closed. Oh, well, I thought, it's still locked.

The articulated coach sped by me as I lengthened my stride to a full sprint, awkwardly clutching the bag's nylon fabric, rather than its strap or handle. The bus slowed to a stop to pick up passengers half a block ahead, and just as I reached it, began to slowly pull away. I slapped at its dusty blue and yellow exterior and mumbled an oath at the faceless driver and his mother.

The vehicle again slowed and stopped at a red light approximately one hundred feet up the street—one last chance. I jogged up to the door and stood in the middle of Alaska Street, staring up at the operator, his gaze locked on a distant horizon. I knocked but he didn't respond. I knocked harder and he finally turned his mulleted head in my direction.

My arms spread in a conciliatory manner, as if to say, "Hey, man, no hard feelings about leaving me in your exhaust. Now open the door, please." My facial expression betrayed pleasantness combined with anaerobic strain from the recent eighty-yard dead sprint. No words were exchanged; it was as if I were doing a private show for the man, where I played the part of a begging mime. He looked down at me, shook his head and swiveled his cranium back to its forward facing profile.

After abruptly realizing a lost cause, my emotions rapidly morphed from desperation to frustration to seething, swirling anger. I now wanted to yank his disproportionally long hair from the back of his head and duct tape it to his forehead to even things out. Since this wasn't an option, I quickly resorted to my profanity portfolio, ready to lob at least a couple of F-bombs into his area before he could drive away. Testosterone has a way of knocking on your door without first phoning.

Rage choked me as my brain fumbled for something, anything to yell inside the bus. I looked briefly to the left and noticed a small boy glaring out the window at me, curiously assessing this crazed, would-be passenger standing in the street, gesturing and panting. Our eyes met, and I could feel my ire transition from white hot to red to a dull orange.

I looked and felt like a fool.

The light turned green and King County Metro Route 54 lumbered away as I retreated to the safer confines of the sidewalk. A minute later, my head rose to greet the sound of another 54 approaching from the distance.

1 comment :

  1. The irony of the kid witness...sadly, there was nothing more to be done...