Tag Archives: bus

Empathy

28 Apr

ImageI sometimes wish that I didn’t feel things so deeply. A few weeks ago, I was on the bus heading downtown. We stopped on Broadway in front of the QFC and a few riders got on the bus. One was an older man, with several bags. He shuffled slowly to the end of one of the seats on the left and in the front, the ones that face inward.

He was most likely homeless, from his unkempt appearance, shaggy beard and bags. He was looking for his pass or transfer when the bus driver began calling out to him in a loud voice. Sir, sir, come here, he said. The would-be passenger muttered that he was putting down his belongings. The bus driver’s voice became louder, he unhooked himself from his seat and continued to call out to the man in a voice that resonated throughout the vehicle.

When they both were in the doorway, the driver asked him to step outside and to get off of the bus. But my things … the man said. We don’t want to go through this again, the bus driver said, not hiding the scolding tone, as if he was talking to a child. I’m trying to keep you out of jail, man, the bus driver said. It was a bit heart-breaking. Even if this man has had jail troubles, did the bus driver really have to yell that out for all to hear on the bus? And I’ve certainly been on the bus before when I wished the driver had not let someone on due to being drunk or high or obnoxious. This was not one of those riders.

The older man swore at the driver as his bags were placed on the sidewalk and prepared to drive away. That’s what I’m talking about, the bus driver said, as if some harsh words at that moment justified the humiliation we all had just witnessed.

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Days 5 & 6 of 40: Walk on, grin and barre it

31 Jan

Andie Hecker on JuicyCouture.com

First, it was skin care. And now, my social life is cramping my exercise routine. But, wait, perhaps instead… my social life is helping me reframe my exercise routine. I also now realize that on many days, I can easily meet the 30 minutes goal.

Yesterday, I had plans to meet friends after work to watch the IU-Purdue game. Eric, a friend I’ve known since high school, was in town for training with his job (Microsoft).  Celeste, a friend I hadn’t seen for awhile and who is also from Indiana, was meeting us along with Eric’s friends from work.  I had brought clothes to work to change into and climb up some hills as a break during the day, but that didn’t happen.

Luckily, the walk from the bus to the bar (Buckley’s in Belltown) was a good 15 or 20 minutes, at a brisk pace (X two, since I caught the bus home at the end of the night, too).

Today, I had a non-rehearsal rehearsal dinner to attend shortly after work. I took yoga clothes to work but the class in my building is no longer happening. Drat. But I also had a dentist’s appointment downtown in the morning. Walk there and back: Approximately 30 minutes. And instead of yoga at home before dinner, I tried a 15-minute DIY barre workout from Daily Candy and Andie Hecker, celebrity trainer to Miranda Kerr, Ginnifer Goodwin and Natalie Portman. Hecker’s Ballet Bodies site is inspiring photog-wise and perfect for me, the one who is craving dancer’s legs.

So there you have it. I’m still on target for the 40 days. I’m a little worried about tomorrow, since I am leaving work early for a wedding and am not sure I’ll have time for a workout during the day. Plus, I have to haul the party dress to work. Do I want to also bring workout clothes, or can the workout be the dance party after dinner? We are also walking to the courthouse for the wedding – could that perhaps be a 30-minute walk, total? See – social life dilemmas hit me once again. I have a feeling I’ll be ready for the weekend, and some actual gym time. Short-term goal: Finally hit the pool.

Smaller

27 Sep

I rode the bus to work today. The woman who sat down next to me took up more than one seat. At first, I thought I was imagining that I was that close, but I looked … and it was true. Feeling tiny, I shifted over closer to the window, taking away that pants to dress connection with a stranger.

Some days, it feels nice to be tiny. She was reading Rolling Stone.

To bus, or not. That is sometimes a question.

27 Jun

I took the bus downtown last Sunday. It was pouring rain outside, but I had promised my friend, Lisa, that I would come to visit her at a Mano, that cute little shoe store. As I walked a block to the closest stop, a van came by and splashed me with water from behind, from head to toe. The umbrella helped a bit, but I had water down the back of my jeans. My shoes got the worst of it, I think. It really made me (almost) feel like crying in an “are you kidding me?” way, and it got (no) better from there.

As I waited at the bus stop, I took down my umbrella. Within seconds, a car came by and water splashed up on my face.  Gross, I know.  And, no, I did not have my mouth open (a friend asked afterward).

The bus arrived, and I gladly boarded. Take that, rain and you fast cars that like to splash pedestrians. The bus was crowded but there was a free seat near the front. I decided to grab it, causing a woman with short-ish blond hair to slide over to the seat closest to the window. I soon regretted this decision, as she was talk-shouting with a man seated diagonally from us. He had two small children with him, was sporting a sort of bowl hair cut and wearing a wedding ring.

No matter the latter, the woman seated next to me continued to scream-shout at him, asking questions about the kids (Is he Indian? No, Chinese.)  and sharing details about a recent trip to Mexico. “I got high once or twice,” she shouted to the entire bus. “And my friends gave me some stuff to take back with me,” she announced, proudly. She then went on to describe how the police boarded a bus she was on while coming back to the States, so she bolted to the bathroom and flushed the drugs down the toilet.

At one point, she softly scolded the kid for not answering his dad’s question. It made me think that perhaps they knew each other prior to the bus ride. The guy then asked the woman, “Does that mean I’m a bad father?” (It was, incidentally, Father’s Day.) Oh, no, the woman said. Kids just have so much on their minds, and their minds are always wandering, and they’re not always paying attention to what you ask. She complimented the man’s son on his brown corduroys and shoes. She then stood up, turned around to show the label (which I never heard of) to the man and kid, and started talking about her designer jeans. Her movement caused me to shift over a bit because it’s not like there is really room for modeling on a bus.  I remember her mentioning designer jeans twice because, of course, I’m sure the kid cared about that.

Just your basic Sunday conversation on the bus, ya know.

The man and his kids got off the bus at the second stop downtown (Westlake/Nordstrom), and the woman immediately got up and moved a few rows back. The sudden departure made me realize she had no idea, really, who those people were.  She started talking with someone immediately, describing how she was on her was to Chinatown (AKA the International District). Her friends were there, she said, and it sounded like there were more drug connections there. “I got high already this morning,” she said triumphantly.   As annoyed as I was to have ended up next to her on the bus, it also made me pretty thankful to not have an addiction like hers. It would be a pretty sad existence to be searching for that drug connection every day, and showing my unknown designer jeans-clad butt to strangers on the bus.