Morning Ride

Its an interesting ride in the morning on the M104 .. the bus, which I 'catch' at 79th St., rarely crowded, almost always arrives at 79th St at the same time .. 7 ayem-ish .. if it's early (meaning before I get to the stop) then I must wait for the next bus which comes along after the empty bus which reads NOT IN SERVICE and speeds by.

Almost every morning this woman gets off at 79th St. She stands in the doorway waiting for the bus to stop then she steps off s-l-o-w-l-y does she know this pisses me off? Get off so I can get on, dammit.

I always sit in the same spot unless someone else is in my seat. I like sitting back facing the exit door because once the heat is on you can suffocate .. sitting opposite the exit door means every few blocks someone gets off and the door opens letting in icy refreshingly unheated air.

At 67th St. there's an Asian woman who gets off. She waits til the bus stops then scrambles to get her things together; usually she's been eating a muffin, so she must wrap it up, grab her backpack any other packages she's got with her and then she literally runs for the door. Every morning I sit there watching wondering why she doesn't get herself together before she gets to her stop.

At 60th St. there's the man with the orthopedic apr├ęs surgery shoe and the crutches. He limps slowly, pathetically from the bus stop onto the bus. He pauses as he gets in, leans back against the guard rail by the driver's seat, props his crutches and begins to look for his Metrocard .. sometimes the driver, in annoyance, closes the doors and begins to pull away from the stop leaving the man to stagger to a seat. I wonder if the driver wonders if the man will fall. I do.

Then there's the woman who gets on at 57th St. She must bath in Shalimar because even if I am reading with my head down, unaware of where we are, I can tell she's getting on the bus because the Shalimar precedes her. And I always begin to cough. I wonder if she knows I cough because she is polluting the air.

There used to be a bus stop at 44th St./Broadway where I got off and crossed over to get coffee at Starbucks on the corner at 43rd St. but one morning about 6 months ago the stop was discontinued. I won't bore you with the story of how I wrote to the MTA to ask WHY and got the stupidest response.

The ride takes me about 20 minutes and this time of year I don't read, I listen to my iPod Shuffle and look at the changing sky, the holiday decorations or I invent imaginary lives for the people who ride along with me.