Saturday, April 21

Warner Busers

The 20:02 Bus hates me.

I get out of work at 20:00. At least, I do if I’m lucky but working in a sales environment, luck is a highly objective word and can only be used it if I provide dates, times and a list of features and benefits. So it’s probably easier, and more factual, to say that no matter what time I get out of work, I still miss the bus.

I tend to get stuck on a sales call at around 19:55 most nights, so it’s not surprising the bus has gone when I get out at 20:11. But when I do manage to leave on time, even if I race down the stairs, fly out the door, dodge across the road and sprint to the bus-stop, I still reach it just in time to see the bus pulling out.

Of course, I can’t blame the bus for this, you might say, it’s leaving at the time it’s meant to. But, little miss know-it-all, that just doesn’t seem to be the case.

One day for example, I was stuck on a car insurance call with a geriatric lady till 20:03, and deciding that I must have missed the bus, I took a slow stroll out of work. When I left the office at 20:07 the 20:02 bus was still sitting at the stop. Happily, I dashed to the crossing, pressed the button and the bus pulled out from the stop the second the lights changed to walk. It was as if it was waiting for me, so it could shake its whored-out, ad-covered butt in my face as it drove away.

The same thing happened the next 10 nights. Every time I got close the bus would pull away, like a stripper in a nightclub. There would be something to delay me, a busy road, a chatting colleague, a desire for ice cream, and the Bus would sit there until I got near to it then speed off into the distance. I swear once or twice I heard it say ‘Meep Meep.’

Finally, I had a plan. With my trainers on ready, my work bag over my shoulder and my bus fare in my hand I logged off at precisely 19:58. (I’ll probably be fired when they find out.) Having peed ten minutes before, and avoided conversation by giving my colleagues evils, I paced down the stairs, and strolled out the doors at 19:59. The bus was at the stop, its lights turned off, idling, waiting.

I strode to the crossing and pressed the crossing-button. Nothing happened. Cars were speeding past, but the lights weren’t changing. Work colleagues gathered round me at the crossing and started talking to me. Across the street the bus’s engine roared to life, the lights flickering on down the aisle. And still the crossing wouldn’t change, still the cars drove past me, still work colleagues were talking rubbish to me, and I just wanted to get the bus. Finally, the lights changed, the cars stopped and I darted across the road, dodged around the old ladies who were moving slower than the laws of physics strictly allow, and headed towards the bus-stop. The headlights on the bus sprung to life. I sped up. I was closer than I’d been for ages, so close I could almost touch it, just a few feet from the stop. I was going to make it. I was going to catch the bus home. For the first time in days I could actually get home in comfort, in the warm bus surrounded by poor people. I didn’t have to walk anymore. I was going to catch the bus.

And that was when the bus started indicating.

And so I walked home. Forty five minutes through dark subways and dangerous streets wondering what I had done to invoke the torment of the 20:02 to St George. And slowly the rain began to fall, drop after drop until it hammered on the pavement and surrounded me with white noise. And soaked to the skin, water running down my face and falling to the ground, I dragged myself home.

Wondering, once again, why I was destined to spend my life staring at the back of a bus.

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gaygeek said...

Hm, I didn't realise that the 176 went that far west!

This Eclectic Life said...

Good post! I was despairing because you seemed to not be frequently posting for a couple of days (at least it wasn't showing up in my feed). You aren't destined to spend your life staring at the back of the bus. Karma is just biting your butt right now.

The Freelance Cynic said...

Then aren't you glad i'm here to instruct you on such matters? Alternativly you can get your Capital City Arse to Bristol and spend your time trying to find me a photograph of the back a West country bus

The Freelance Cynic said...

Eceletic - Can't a sexy man bite my butt instead?

Angelika said...

Awwww. But LOL!!! I'm so glad I don't have to deal with public transportation. :-)

You either have to e-mail me or comment on my blog with your real e-mail address for me to send you your interview questions.

gaygeek said...

but y would i ever want to leave the beloved capital to go out somewhere in the sticks...

tsk, u peasant types...

Gattina said...

I love your bus adventure ! Poor girl. You should move to Amsterdam, everybody goes by bike, no cars no bus in the City center ! But ..... you can see the busboats from behind ! I have to say it took me a while to get used to all these bikes they are coming from everywhere and it's a miracle that I am still alive ! (I visit from time to time my son who lives in Amsterdam)

The Freelance Cynic said...

GayGeek - Come Now, if London is A royal table city than Bristol atleast has the Lords and Ladies, although they would probably speak not proper like. is it?

Gattina - Nah, my bike would only get stolen :)

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