Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Notes from the public transportation files

I spend a good three hours of my day commuting to and from work. Now, I'm not complaining (yes I am), but this means that I am getting far less sleep than I was, like, ever before. Which is fine (kind of) because I love what I'm doing during those hours spent awake (except for that commuting part). And I have far less time to do things like blog. Cause holy croly if I could only bother to squeeze out a couple posts a week when I was unemployed less actively engaged, imagine the monumental effort that goes into writing word vomitting now. What can I say? I do it for the money. HAH! I'll tell you what, good thing my nonprofit salary is so high or otherwise I don't know how I'd support that mortgage bar tab. HAH HAH! I find myself so much more amusing when I'm all bleary-eyed and slightly confused.

My commute however, is not that bad, all things considered. It's not like I'm sitting in traffic for an hour and half each way, slamming my head on a steering wheel. I'm riding right along in a moderately clean, relatively quiet train car. And then there's the bus and oh my blegh. But that train is frankly quite nice. While I spent my first few weeks of work happily plowing through (that's what he said) books at an unprecedented non-vacation pace, I know find myself gradually morphing into the people I found to be public trans oddities not long ago.

1. While reading my latest book, I often found myself laughing out loud. And not just subtle little chuckles, but full out guffaws that clearly attract the attention of my fellow-commuters. I was reading David Foster Wallace's "Infinite Jest" and I think it was one of the funniest books I've ever read in my life, simply because it was so utterly twisted. And what do twisted people love? Twisted humor. And pancakes. Moving on.

2. I find myself falling asleep more and more often on my train ride into the city in the morning. I am not dozing. I am REMing my face off. I'm having dreams. I'm snapping awake with a start and finding people staring at me and don't know if I'm supposed to be embarrassed or kind of creeped out that I'm being stared at. Like I said, the train ride is just so quiet and smooth and how can I resist catching a few Z's all nestled into my synthetic leather seat? I can't resist, frankly, because I usually fall asleep mid-sentence somewhere in "Infinite Jest" and you know those dreams are all sorts of fecked up.

3. I'm turning into an asshole. Okay this has nothing to do with my commute. I've kind of always been an asshole. But now there's a new type of assholeishness on the block. And her name is Commuter Bridget. As you know, I spent the first few weeks of my newborn commuting life absolutely terrified I was going to piss someone off. Now, I cannot describe the rage that wells up in my chest when some other asshole keeps the T doors open when I'm on my way to the commuter rail and holy crikes if this T doesn't get me to South Station in two minutes I'm going to miss my train and then I'll have to wait an entire hour and then you'll ALL be VERY sorry. And another thing? I've always been a brisk walker. Just about everyone who walks through South Station is slower than Bill and Karolyn Slowsky. So when I'm sprinting down the platform to catch my train, I'd appreciate it if your giant turtle ass got out of the way. If not, you might get an elbow to the ribs and I'm sorry, but again, missing that train is not an option.

I try to make up for my assholish commuter tendencies by overcompensating with niceness in every other circumstance, such as always giving my seat up for preggo ladies and anyone who looks like they might carry an AARP card (which, shockingly, I have YET to see anyone else do -- assholes), and thanking all the ticket people and bus drivers, and trying to be otherwise pleasantly cheerful because I'm sure it sucks to have to deal with tired, cranky commuters all day long.

Because I don't usually get home until 7 or sometimes 8 p.m., I have found the only way to squeeze my runs in (and thus maintain my sanity) are to do it before I catch the 7 a.m. train in the morning. Thus, I now drag my ass out of bed at 4:50 in the morning. Granted, I've done this before. But it's not very hard to get out of bed when you have a team of homeless men expecting you to show up for that 5:30 a.m. run. This is very different. And it's in the suburbs, making it infinitely more quiet and frankly a tad lonely on these runs. And whenever I do come across someone, I find myself wondering what in the hells they're doing up so early in the morning. But I will say, as I ran along the coast this morning and watched the sun rise over the ocean, life felt pret-ty, pret-ty, pretty sweet.

This new commuter schedule also probably explains my recent transformation from casual cafe visitor to full out coffee-addict. I am absolutely sub-human, falling asleep in my train seat and drooling on my chest until I get that first cup of coffee in the morning. My god I barely recognize myself anymore.

Welp, gotta go catch the T. And maybe the Hep. Note to self: buy hand sanitizer.


Lori said...

This post = the past two years of my life to the T. Pun intended.

Lauren @ In Her Two Shoes said...

This is SO my life. Slow walkers and loud talkers are the bane of my commute.

Falko said...

Here's one way to judge your coffee addiction, how many different coffee thermoses do you own?

Bridget said...

Just one, Falko, but I'm pretty sure I can't even take a shit without a cup of coffee now, if that counts for anything.

Falko said...

I just threw up all over my desk over that comment.

ɹǝƃƃolquǝʞoʇ said...

Maybe you need a fake ID for when you're being an asshole. Then you can always blame it on someone else.

Deidre said...

God I hate the slow walkers. What's their deal!

Also - I keep reminding myself to buy hand sanitizer and I keep forgetting to do it. it's tragic. very tragic.

Bellacantare said...

Like looking in the mirror. Every time I run into someone I know but haven't seen in awhile, they comment on how often I talk about my commute on Facebook. Someone told me I should make a book out of it. Well, I guess that means at least one person finds my painful commute funny. :-p

Nose in a book said...

Yeah, I did that for a year and a half. Got a lot of reading done and perfected the art of stumbling onto the right train, then setting out my breakfast on the seat tray. Couldn't keep it up any longer than that. Came down to a choice of moving closer or switching job. They didn't pay me much though. Good pay might have been worth sticking with it!


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