I was ganna write about how the only time I really think about being in an Ivy League school is when I see my tuition bill or hear live classical music or when I walk around on campus for no particular reason and realize just how old and beautiful the buildings really are. I was ganna talk about how I don’t know how to respond to people when they respond to me telling them I go to Columbia and how I don’t really even know how to tell people that I go to Columbia, b/c- while my school is ‘prestigious’ is really is just a school. A school where I learn and make friends and spend all my time. Just like the schools that everyone else goes to too.
Well. I was ganna write about all that. But then I decided not to. I hope that’s okay.
Instead I’m going to tell you a true story. About me.
Today, after spending my entire (productive) time of the day on 2 little Spanish worksheets (side notes. 1. How do people think I can handle a Spanish client if it takes me 3 hours to make a worksheet for said client? 2. My worksheet is actually really fun. She has to match breakfast items to the countries that she thinks they are from. If you want to play this game, I can send you the worksheet (and you can open it on google translator).) okay. I’m back. So. After doing that all day I began my walk to the train. And instead of heading into the city I headed towards Queens. However, here is no good way to actually get to Queens. So I had to take the train to a bus to a bus and then walk. The total distance between my apartment and my destination was 8.8 miles (driving). Can you guess how long it took me to get there? Welll.. I’ll give you some clues.
1. I didn’t have to wait for the J train. And I took it 4 stops.
2. I did have to wait for the bus. A long wait. But when you’re waiting, who really checks to see what time they started waiting so they can say, “I waited 20 minutes!”? So, all I can say for sure is that the wait was long and the line was long. So long in fact that I couldn’t fit on the first bus that came. And the second one didn’t go where I wanted to go. So. I got the third bus.
3.Which turned out to be the express. Or as they call it in bus terms “limited.”
4. But it took us 10 minutes to make it through the next stop light.
5. And I got some funny looks as I was one of 2 women on my bus. The only young white one at that. All the other passengers appeared to be Hispanic men coming from a construction site. Which is fine. It just adds to my night of comedy.
6. So, we finally made it to the mall, where my bus change was.
7. No problem, google maps says the bus should be here in 7 minutes. Perfect.
8. Did I mention that I had decided not to wear many layers b/c I had been overheated in my house all day and thought a chill might be nice.
9. I did wait 20 minutes for that bus. And I know this because I got on the bus at 6:08, 8 minutes after I was supposed to be at my destination, where I had committed to helping w/ a kid’s club. And I called my mom just to tell her that I was freezing cold.
10. Well, I had been waiting so long that I was near the front of the line, which is actually a win b/c I got a seat.
11. But my seat was in the aisle and the aisle was filling up.
12. And who should stand next to me but a large blind man. I know he was blind because he had a white cane and squinty eyes. However, he must have not been blind for very long because he did not have a 6th sense, or what scientists call proprioceptive perception (The ability all of us have to feel where our bodies are in space, which I used to think was a basic human skill.) So, that was kind of a problem b/c he totally invaded my space. And apparently couldn’t tell the difference between the fabric of my coat and the seat I was sitting on. So, he acted like he was trying to feel where he was, but ended up rubbing my back and side. Which was unfortunate for me. I offered him a seat. He declined.
13. And when I needed to leave I got up and spoke to him while doing so, trying to let him know that I needed out. But since he apparently had no idea how seats are situated on buses, or where he was at on the bus, or the fact that he was trapping me in my seat, getting out was tricky. And then the bus jerked and we all fell. And I grabbed a pole. So I didn’t really fall. But once I got my balance I made eye contact with an Asian look of death and realized that the pole I had grabbed also contained the hand of a nice lady and I had bent her wrist. I apologized. She looked at me like I had broken her arm and moved out of my way so I could get off.
14. and then I got to the school and the door was locked and the security guard just looked at me and sat down and I was cold.
15. So I had officially arrived and ended up enjoying my time at kid’s club, even though I was 20 minutes late. And I thought, ‘maybe I should do this again (this coming and helping with kid’s club thing).’
16. But then I took the bus home. And realized, at best, it still takes an hour to get to Queens.
So, did you guess? How long did it take me to span those 8.8 miles? You’re right! I left my house at 4:45 and got there at 6:20. That is 95 minutes of either shivering or squishing.
And I decided that what’s great about the bus is that it has all the positives of road traffic, with all the positives of commuter traffic.
So there. That is my personal narrative of while I officially hate buses and hope they are never part of my commute and why I don’t have any friends in Queens.
The end. Or as we say in Spanish – El Fin. (The ‘l’ is released laterally, more so than an English ‘L’ and the ‘i’ is actually an ‘e’ sound- just so you know how to think it right.)
okay. now it’s the end.