Wednesday, February 02, 2011

My Life as a Blog (aka "Bus Friends, in a Good Way")

[Dang... I thought that the "My Life as a Blog" title was so clever, but then I did a search -- everybody's using it! Including one guy who went on and on in his sole post of 2011 about "When Did Angelina Jolie Become Angelina Jolie?" Duh, Dude: "Gia." Can you please stop trying to post now?]

In "This Woman Is Dangerous" news:

Monday I woke up around 1 pm with a huge hangover, no clean clothes, only soup in The Room, under five cigarettes, and a big work project to start with a too-fast turn-around time that made me nervous.

As soon as I opened my eyes and saw how late it already was, and knowing how much I had to do (esp. GET CIGS!), I initially groaned and thought about just making it a "hangover day," i.e., lying in bed for 12 hours watching TV and using the hangover as an excuse for not "feeling like" doing anything at all. Then I saw the weather report -- starting Tuesday, it was going to be nasty for the rest of the week. Did I want to walk for miles carrying groceries and stand for a half-hour at the bus-stop in 30-degree weather? No, I did not. Up, up -- don't be ashamed of putting on those unwashed jeans wrinkled-fresh from the laundry bag -- while the grocery-getting days are still warm!

After shopping, I was standing for a very long time at the bus-stop. At nearly the half-hour mark, a young Hispanic guy showed up. We nodded hello, and after a few minutes, he asked how long I'd been waiting, etc. I was wary and monosyllabic. (Honestly, nearly everyone in Austin who strikes up a conversation at the stop or on the bus is weird in some way. I rarely hear anything but stories of evictions and drugs and burglaries and druggie neighbors burgling and former drug addicts finding God and now wanting to be lawyers or something equally impossible or else hating all rich people. Usually ending with an insistence on a handshake, which I acquiesce to because I don't want to seem like a snotty white woman who's too good to shake their god-knows-what-they've-been-digging-through hands. In New York, I only once had a homeless guy shake my hand -- after which the work-friend from Queens that I was standing with at the bus-stop immediately/automatically/sympathetically gave me a hand-sanitizing wipe. Thank you! New Yorkers aren't afraid to be overtly ANTI "down home" and utterly SANE!)

After a few more minutes, my wannabe bus friend tried again:

[Which of the two buses that stopped there was I waiting for?]
[inward sigh] Either one.

Either one?
Yeah, they both take me back to the same place.

I like ___ better because it's usually less crowded. But since it's less busy, it doesn't come as often.

I was just at the tax office. It took me two hours to get up there. Have you ever had to go there on a bus? It's a pain. And now THIS bus is late.
No. Where is it? Way up north? I don't usually go anywhere but my hairdresser's by campus and this grocery store. I don't know why this bus is so late. Oh, and Marshall's.

You like Marshall's? They have some really great deals there! I just bought my wife a sweatshirt there -- you know the kind with a zipper in front, and a hood? -- for only $9.
I know! I got a $100 gift card there for Christmas, and I was able to buy 4 pairs of pants, some socks, AND a pillow! All for $100!


Well, after that, we were off to the races! :) I think as soon as he mentioned both his wife and Marshall's, I relaxed -- he was just being friendly and wasn't a weirdo trying to pick me up. (And it was cute to me that he was married so young and that he took pleasure in getting a good deal on a sweatshirt -- you know, the kind with a zipper -- for his wife.) So, for the next 15 or 20 minutes until the bus came, we chattered away.

For one thing, we had both moved back to Austin in the past year and weren't readjusting 100%. I was missing the beauty and energy of New York, while he was missing the more laid-back vibe of Guadalajara, where he'd also moved just to do something different and interesting. (Funny, but he thought Austin was not laid-back enough! He also thought the weather in Austin was too...cold!) I had to come back because of no job; he came back because the crime there was starting to get too serious. Both of us liked the public transportation systems of our previous cities very much, and both of us now very much missed our cars, which we'd sold when we went off on our adventures. He'd also lived in NYC for a few months several years ago with a friend -- where he'd liked clubbing, but did not like the weather and the crowds.

Once the bus finally came, there wasn't room for us to sit together, so we just waved (NOTE: "waved," not "shook hands") 'bye when I got off. But the whole conversation put me in a really good mood. It was fun to be able to talk to/hear the thoughts of a real person instead of leaving messages on a computer! Seriously -- I'll maybe talk to a family member once every two or three weeks. During the week, I'll say hi to the beer-store guys or to neighbors that I pass by the mailbox. But other than that, I haven't really had much human interaction since moving back to Austin. (I have been invited out a few times, but have usually been feeling too sluggish to do anything "structured" -- meaning, I guess, having PLANS to meet and interact as opposed to just running into someone at a bus-stop!) :)

Anyway, a peppy start to a peppy rest-of-the-day. (Once home, did every last bit of warsh -- including the bedding, which is always a pain; and started marinading the chicken breasts that I'd just bought -- I always hate touching raw meat of any kind and have sometimes let what I've bought go bad because I didn't ever feel like handling it. Oh yeah -- and got a good start on the work project, which I'm not nervous about any more.)

It might also be a peppy month, work-wise, at least. (When I have the promise of work/money coming in, that usually puts me in a correspondingly more positive mood. I like having something "real" to do for part of the day and THEN being able to relax with a few beers. As opposed to waking up with nothing to do BUT "relax" and drink.)

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