Riding the city bus brings out every bit of my neuroticism.
Normally I’m a pretty confident, capable woman, but require me to take a city bus route – particularly downtown – and I become a nervous wreck. Something will go wrong, I’m sure of it – I’ll miss the bus, I’ll be at the wrong stop, the bus route will magically have changed and no longer go where I need it to (despite the fact that I’m looking at the route on my smartphone as I go), I’ll miss my stop, I won’t have the right change, someone will steal my purse, I’ll forget to grab my transfer, I’ll be held up at the dark stop in the early morning, someone awful will sit next to me and flirt with me, I’ll be late, I’ll be too early, I’ll run into someone I’d rather not, I’ll get lost when I get off, I’ll fall in the aisle, I’ll have forgotten to brush my teeth and the person next to me will die from the stench, my travel coffee mug will spill all over. It sounds ridiculous but in my brain? All distinct possibilities. And Metro Transit is not helping me out, either… for instance, stops are listed as cross streets. Friends, there are four actual corners at each cross street and sometimes there are bus stops on all four. How do I know which one? They don’t all have signs. I’m certain to be at the wrong one and watch my bus roar by. And God forbid I have to change buses! My heart rate shoots up just thinking about it.
Never mind that highschoolers and people who barely speak English and folks who are obviously on something all seem to be able to work it out. This gal here, with a college degree and a good head on her shoulders? Destined to be lost and wandering in the city.
It did not help, this morning, that the change machine on the bus wasn’t able to add. “Did you put in enough money?” the driver asked, and I smiled nervously and giggled and said “I’m pretty sure I put in $2.25” because OF COURSE I did – it was pre-counted at least four times and put in a labeled Ziploc baggie so I could put my frantic heart to rest before bed last night. Not that that helped me sleep. And now I’m holding up the line and everyone is glaring at me (why must they do that?) and all my worst expectations are being fulfilled.
But I made it.
And then I got off early. And since I only studied one route home at one specific time and stop (typed up in Evernote with precise walking directions and change counted out and sealed into another labeled Ziploc) I’m seriously considering sitting around until then. Never mind that it’s two hours from now. I can wait.