I knew this was going to happen. Wasted now because I was up all night blogging about everything but what I was going to blog about, which was: about riding the bus. I know that doesn't sound like much, but it was much, trust me. You need to see it in context, which is: exactly one week ago to the hour, the repo man was getting ready to creep up and steal my car. OK, so it wasn't really my car. And true, I hadn't made a lease payment in almost four months. But still. The fucker. So until yesterday, I hadn't gone anywhere for a week, except to sit on my stoop and watch the moon. Which wasn't all that bad, actually. I've gotten used to it. I've gotten to kind of like it. Don't tell anyone.
However, I woke up yesterday just basically glad to be alive after that day I had the day before. Man. So I got on this funky old broken down laptop with the 56k modem and started checking out the RTD, or Regional Transportation District, which for some reason is what they call the bus company around here. To make what you just know could be a very long story a lot shorter, I found the bus route map you see here and discovered that I could go from where I live to Don's office with out hardly having to walk, well... very much.
So I get to the bus stop in time (I think) for the bus they told me on the phone would be coming about now, and here comes this girl walking towards me. Now, as I'd just found out (or remembered, really) that the Swiss Army pocket watch attached to my shoulder bag -- oh! and look here! I have a time piece! -- didn't work. Yes, as I was saying, as I'd just discovered (or remembered, really) the above... I said to her: do you have the time? I wasn't trying to be smart or anything. Wait. I said I was going to make this short didn't I?
OK. Her name is Oumou and she is incredibly beautiful. She had (and presumably still does) these 1000 or so little tiny braids, which she said her momma (she did say her momma, I'm sure of it) did for her. Because, naturally, I asked. And it took about 12 hours, she said. Holy shit! And she's in her junior year at CU (the University of Colorado in Boulder) studying psychology. So, lots to talk about there. And she's just hanging out in the street with me asking her all these questions and thinking wow is this ever nice and it was when she smiled that I noticed how incredibly beautiful she was.
Then the bus came, and I said well bye, nice talking to you. And she got on the bus too and I, of course, felt like the world's biggest idiot. But you know how it is when you've just fallen in love and don't quite realize it yet. You are an idiot and it doesn't matter. She got off again in about six blocks and I just managed to give her my telephone number and a quick DNA sample (no, that can't be right...) and my email address and I'll probably never see her again. What a smile. My god. Oumou. She said it was Egyptian. Yes.
possibly somewhere around here
Then the bus continued on, somewhat redundantly, but I didn't mind that either. Boulder has never looked so good. I have never been this glad to live here. Man. What is up with that? This whole bus thing was so cool. I felt liberated. Oh yeah, and the driver didn't charge me. He said you can pay next time. Wow. And coming back? That driver said, oh well, you're going to buy a pass, right? (I'd asked him where I could buy a pass.) And he said, well in that case, no sense paying. Incredible. They were both Latino and maybe it was my day to find out that if you ride the bus, not everyone in Boulder is White. Or so goddam fucking mean. Like these old women (though they could be 29) who drive the biggest motherfucking SUVs their money can buy, which is really really big around here, and then can't drive them for shit. Or lately, these things that look like they were designed for Desert Storm or Operation AssFuck the RagHeads or whatever we called that last one. But amazingly, I wasn't thinking any of those things. I was just marvelling at the bus and where it was going and hey, it was air conditioned even. But this feeling of I dunno freedom. I liked it. I hate to say this, but I was feeling sort of happy, actually.
Which in itself is something. Because there hasn't been a whole lot of anything in terms of like outside, you know? I mean, lately. I mean, except for Barnes & Noble, which I had definitely worn out. And Borders, which ditto. And I was like what else is there? Well, as it turns out, there's the bus! Which among its many other virtues, got me to Don's in about 20 minutes. All the way across town. I know this must sound sort of silly, as if I'm making fun of the bus. But no, I am really in awe of these things. And I hope this doesn't sound like George Bush (the one who was smart [and mean] enough to be Director of the CIA) saying, well, would ya look at that, it just scans the groceries and gets the price and puts it right in there, doesn't it? Which is why everyone is now talking about Clinton's autobiography, because if Bush hadn't been so fucking dumb on TV that time, no one would have ever heard of Bill Clinton or cared who was blowing him under the desk. Except whoever was, I guess. Oh yeah, and it even goes to the airport, which is about 3,000 kilometers from here, as the crow flies. I shouldn't try to write these things when I'm this tired. It's unnatural.
or maybe more like around here someplace
So then I was at Don's and we talked about annihilation and that special moment when you're about oh I dunno say eight weeks old and you know something's terribly, desperately wrong but you can't quite put your finger on it. So you check out. Forever. Part of you, anyway. Just part. Just some part you can't remember anyway until maybe about 50 years later or so when something triggers it like a grenade going off in a rotted out mine shaft and the whole thing comes down. Baby. And all.
Not to put too fine a point on it.
And then it was time to go. So I walked down some alleys and back streets and then down Pearl Street where there are lots of people on a fine day like today. Went into the used bookstore. What can I tell you? It's a habit. And yeah, Borders. But I couldn't get out of those places fast enough, so I only read six or eight shelves. Then I went into this dirt-cheap eatery called Moshi-Moshi Rice Bowl, which means something like Hello, Rice Bowl. Because "moshi moshi" is what you say when you answer the phone in Japan, but never do this if you're gaijin. I did this once, and I have a pretty good ear for accents, so then whoever called expects that you speak Japanese. And then you have to explain, in English of course, that you were just kidding, but they don't usually think it's that funny. In other words, horribly embarrassing. I cringe just writing this. And I had the ka-re bee-fu, which means like beef curry. With rice (rai-su). So it's not true
I didn't learn some Japanese. Like, for instance: "Kore wa Nihongo denanto imasuka?" Very handy phrase meaning: "How do you say that in Japanese?" And I say to the guy there, "Shoga arimaska?" And he says, yeah it's over there with the chopsticks and stuff. Because he understood I was asking if there was any pickled ginger.
It's all just fucking amazing if you ask me.
So ordinary. So totally unexpected. I mean, everything. And I was so excited about the bus that last night around 9:30 I walked up to King Soopers, which is maybe a mile (!!!) away, and bought a one-month bus pass for $45. This was made possible by some very fine friends who laid some very fine cash onto this very fine button...
You knew it was coming, didn't you? Of course you did. It's my little giffy begging bowl that lets me get food and coffee and cigarettes and bus passes and stay up all night till I'm crazy as a shithouse rat and be amazed at the world for another, please oh please, just one more, day.