the bus chronicles

Tomorrow is the last day I see my morning bus driver. He is driving at a different time, and I leave for Boise on Friday. I truly am going to miss him: of all the bus driver’s I’ve let drive me around, he truly was the most punctual and the most efficient, while at the same time being friendly and very aware of his job. A lot of bus drivers don’t take the time to see if their regular riders are a little late to their stop. Once, I saw the 19 drive by as I was a block away from the stop. Annoyed (more at my own tardiness), I walked to the corner, and turned … to see that he had stopped the bus, as if he was waiting for me. When I boarded, I said, “I didn’t think you would stop for me!” and he said, “Well … I got here a little early…”

Truly, if there ever was a better example of pure heterosexual brotherly love than that moment, I would like to hear it. (and no ancient Greek examples, please.)

In other news, tomorrow also marks the possible last moment I have to talk to the Attractive Bus Girl, who has been boarding the bus regularly as I make my way to work. She gets on about two stops before I get off, which encapsulates roughly two minutes of driving time. Maybe not even that, maybe just a minute. I don’t know how long this has been going on but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was months.

The prospect of talking to this woman didn’t even hit me until recently. The reason being: I suspected a Pattern. I sit in a regular spot on the bus (out of habit, not out of obsessive-compulsive disorder). She would sometimes sit right in front of me, provided that seat was available. Before, I would say, “Oh hot girl, you are so close yet so far away…” (in my head). Then, one day, when I boarded the bus my regular spot was taken. No biggie, I just sat across the aisle in another seat. The bus goes, and then we get to Her Stop. At this point the bus isn’t very full at all, and the seat that would be in front of me, were I sitting in my usual spot, was wide open.

She boards, and proceeds to sit in front of me, on the other side of the bus. This is when my Pattern was suspected. Perhaps her sitting in front of me was not merely coincidence; perhaps she wanted to sit in front of me.

It reminded me of the one time she actually sat next to me. This was months ago, January, maybe. It was cold, the bus was full of people, and she sat next to me, not aware that I was going to get off in two stops. I, being totally disarmed by her dark eyes and general attractiveness, didn’t have the balls to say, “Hey, I’m getting off in two stops, you should sit next to the window” (or whatever). Instead I sat, silent, afraid of accidentally bumping our knees together, listening to music on my MP3 player, wanting desperately to turn and look at her, actually look instead of taking occasionally glances.

A minute later, as my stop neared, I glanced briefly at her and muttered, “scuse me”, fully aware of how annoying it would be for her to get up mere seconds after sitting down. (in hindsight, I think I sounded like a meek five-year-old when I spoke, too.)

None of the regulars I see on the bus sit next to me, mostly because I get off the bus long before they do. Nothing personal.

The other day, a week or so ago, she boarded the bus with a couple of other people. One of the women ahead of her sat in front of me. I glanced up at her just in time to see her look at this lady. Did she give her a look? Is that what I saw? Or am I just making up reasons for ordinary facial gestures?

And then, this morning: I, in some monumental dumbass move, decided to sit in the aisle seat instead of the window seat, with this delusion of grandeur that, when she boarded, I would offer her the other seat. Because, of course, the bus would be packed.

Which it wasn’t.

And there was a guy sitting in front of me. And when the bus got to her stop it was just her, no one else waiting, and she got on and I mustered up the goddamn nerve to at least look her in the eye for a moment, and I think I smirked, or smiled, or something, and she looked at me like, “Why are you sitting there? You’re blocking where I could potentially sit,” and continued to walk to the back of the bus.

At least, this is what I thought she thought. In my head.

Eight days ago I turned twenty-six years old. I’ve been on this planet for a quarter of a century, and I feel unprepared for anything. And it’s starting to dawn on me … that being prepared isn’t the point of life. If everyone was prepared for everything we would be static creatures, bored and lifeless and essentially without purpose.

I’m four years away from thirty. I have a life to lead, not a life to prepare for.

Tomorrow is the last day I see my regular morning bus driver. It’s also the last day I take the 19 to work before the route changes slightly, just slightly enough that it throws off my potential continued riding with this girl. In essence, fate, or god, or whatever is going on beyond my eyes and ears, is telling me that it is up to me to access the opportunities that are given to me. Boxes don’t open themselves, in other words.

I have a window of a minute to establish a connection and either get a phone number or a facebook or SOMETHING.

sigh. why do i do this to myself.

By Josh

I'm the guy who owns this site, ya dummy.

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