Tuesday, 23 September 2014
Transit Theatre (write of passage number thirty-three)
Take this afternoon, for example, when a young woman made me clamber over her to the seat by the window while she clung resolutely to the aisle seat, refusing to either slide over or to rise to let me on.
"I'm getting off," she said brusquely when I glared at her. Eight Transitway stops later, I had to clamber over her again. I was getting off.
However, there are a minority of people who turn outward, rather than inward, on the transit system.
So I was standing in front of the entrance of the Tunney's Pasture Station, checking the time and wondering where my bus was. I was listening to a podcast of an old episode of the BBC Radio series "Desert Island Discs"on my iPod (Frank Skinner back when he was still single), when a man wearing a backwards baseball cap strode out of the building, making a pulling motion from his ears to indicate he wanted to talk to me. I pulled out my earbuds.
"EXCUSE ME CAN YOU HELP I NEED TO KNOW IF THERE'S ANY OTHER BUS TO CODWAY I MEAN I KNOW THE 176 BUT IT'S SOMEWHERE ALONG CARLING AVENUE…."
He shouted the entire time. There was a big smile on his face, so I wasn't alarmed. Before I could reply, a blonde woman in a sort of quilt coat emerged, and launched herself into the conversation which was evidently already in progress before I laid eyes on them. She was shouting too, but I'll spare you the upper case:
"I told you this would happen!"
"No, listen, I know exactly where it is; it's the Codway Estates."
"But I didn't bring a map…'
Where on earth is my damn bus, I thought, but I got out my phone anyway and quietly entered "Codway" into Google Maps.
"Uh, do you mean Caldwell?"
They nodded absently, but I was no longer part of the act -- if I ever was. Besides, there was my bus, finally. I left them squabbling amiably and theatrically.
As the bus pulled away, Caldwell Avenue came up on my sluggish phone. It's off Merivale, not Carling. They should have stuck with the 176.