So here’s the thing about the bus. I defend it against all the naysayers. I defend it against the drivers and the walkers and the folks who are lucky enough to live next to a train line.
I defend it, despite the fact that it gives me motion sickness with fair regularity. Despite the fact that I was once sexually harassed on a bus. Despite the fact that in middle school, the only place that highlighted my friendlessness more than the cafeteria was the bus. Despite the fact that one time on my way to work, the bus driver stopped suddenly and refused to drive until one person got off the bus. Any person. She didn’t care who, she’d just decided that there was one too many of us (quiet, harmless) morning commuters.
Why do I stick up for the bus? Because it gets me where I need to go. Cheaply, with minimal time spent in the elements. In fact, I’m writing this on the bus right now.
Would you like to know how the bus treat its only defender? It subjects me to the whims of the unfortunate, unstable souls who have no other choice but to take the bus and are angry about it. Like the elderly man this morning who decided my bag was too close to his face and proceeded to shove my bag and arm away from him while berating me loudly. Multiple times! After multiple apologies for standing too close to him, as though the bus left me with a choice! Good sir, I have no problem with the fact that you were sitting in a leisurely bus seat and I was standing in the aisle, because you are old and look like you might have trouble standing. But the thing is, when you are lucky enough to get a coveted seat during the morning commute, you are going to find yourself on eye-level with lots of unpleasant things. Snotty children. Sweaty clothes. Oversized midsections. Really, my almost brand new orange briefcase is the least of your worries. Also, for the record? My bag is not that big!
I did not violate the unwritten code of the bus by engaging this man in an argument. I apologized and clutched my bag (and limbs!) close for the next fifteen minutes. My only solace was the looks of shock and sympathy I got from my kindred bus riders. If it weren’t for them, I might have to resort to complaining about the bus like a normal person.