I woke up to a dark thunderous rainy morning where the raindrops were falling hard and fast like a marching band banging on their drums. Even though I had another hour or so to sleep I decided to get up and start my day. It would have been hard to sleep anyway with all that noise.
I did my usual morning routine, putting the TV and the coffee on while I shaved and took a shower. Being that I had extra time, I decided to make myself some eggs, toast and watch the news. There is something to be said for waking up early, it’s nice not having to rush and relax a bit which is something that I can’t do often.
With my raincoat and umbrella in hand out I went out into the pouring rain. I already knew by listening to the news that some of the subway lines that I take were suspended due to flooding so I had to take the bus, not taxis for me. It was going to be a long commute for sure. I live on the upper eastside of New York City and I had to go down to 14th St.
The bus stop was crowded with people all huddled together waiting for the bus under the enclosed area. After watching a few buses drive by with no room, one was finally going to stop with standing room only. Thankfully I was able to get in and find a place to stand and I was on my way. It’s amazing how one gets to know a little about the lives of others in a crowded situation such as this bus.
For example, in front of me, there were these teen girls, talking about how their parents are terrible because they don’t like the boyfriends they were dating. How this one is too old for you and the other comes from a bad family. They go on to explain how they cover for each other in order to sneak out and see their boyfriends. I wonder if I was like that at their age or if my kids will do the same to me.
Close to me was this man who looked and smelled like he hadn’t seen a shower in weeks, boy, that was tough, the smell was like an old pair of smelly socks filled with moldy cheese. Getting a whiff of him was just too much to take, in fact, if we were outside there probably would be buzzards circling around him. Each time the bus stopped I was praying for him to get off. Guess what? He’s still on the bus!
Further down in the bus there were a couple of guys talking loudly about the upcoming election and politics. One was saying how the president is this and that while the others were debating who would be a good candidate for the Republican party. Politics is one area I try to avoid. Why? Because it is a subject that people feel very strongly about and I have seen many friendships go bad because of it.
Thanks to the guy near me I learned what guys would like to do to girls as his headphones were just loud enough for me to hear one rap song after another. Sitting a few feet away from me was this young woman wearing religious garb with the head scarf and long skirt covering her legs looking nervously at these 2 men who were staring at her. She could hear them talking about how these people come to our country while hating us at the same time. I stopped to think for a moment how she would feel and whether or not the guys were right in how they felt. It’s a topic that always seems to come up, especially these days.
This was one morning I shouldn’t have left my headphones at home. I could have used them to tune out what was around me. The rudeness, the anger, the hopelessness that some people feel. the lack of consideration for those who talk loud as if we want to hear what they were saying. Or to the lady talking on her cell phone making plans for the upcoming weekend. Who cares whether she wants to go out with Bob to a concert or to a fancy expensive restaurant with Kevin. It’s not my concern, I don’t care.
I can’t believe it but my stop is finally coming up. I move pushing and squeezing my way towards the back door. The door slowly opens as I get out into the pouring rain looking to open my umbrella, realizing that I must have dropped it while getting out of the bus. Not to my surprise no one bothered to tell me, just great.
Well, I finally reached my destination getting out of that noisy, smelly bus and into the fresh rainy air only to get soaking wet, at this point, I don’t know which was worse. Maybe I should have slept a little longer this morning. Oh well, I guess it’s just another morning commute in the city.