Thursday, February 12, 2015

Screaming at strangers...

...sometimes feels sooooooooo good.

Of course, there are always the doubts: "WHY, Steph, WHY? Aren't you even a bit embarrassed about losing it? Aren't you afraid that it's only going to get worse as you get older, and you're going to end up as the neighborhood 'Really Crazy Old Lady Who Always Screams at People'? Some things are a Slippery Slope, you know."

Yes, I'm a little bit embarrassed. Yes, I'd eventually, ideally like to be a calm, gracious old person and not a crazy, bitter one.

But... oh well.

With my new apartment, my bus-ride to/from work is only about 20 minutes each way. On the Rapid, which my employer pays for. The Rapid's 50-cent-higher rate also ensures that mainly professionals and students ride it, so it's not the writhing-masses-of-humanity scumbag hell that some of the regular city buses are. The rate difference, though, sometimes creates confusion among those waiting at the stops shared by both regular and Rapid buses. As in, sometimes people at the stops want to get on whatever bus stops there, without a realization that the Rapid buses cost more. When the driver tells them about the price difference, there are often arguments and annoying minutes of delays while we passengers all sit there and listen to the pointless blah-blah-blah back and forth.

Same happened this afternoon on my way home. Mid/late-20s couple, both grimy, with backpacks. White guy with dreads. Bleached-blonde Asian woman. As soon as I saw them, before they even opened their mouths, I thought, "San Francisco."

When they initially stepped onto the bus, the guy had a soda, the girl had a Styrofoam container of food. The driver told them no food or drinks on the bus. They, grumbling, went back out and tossed their stuff. When they stepped back onto the bus, there was the above-mentioned argument about what fare they were supposed to pay. They finally got all of their appropriate loose change into the fare box and headed toward the back of the bus, muttering.

GIRL: This is so fucked up.
GUY: Austin's a shitty city anyway.

ME: [turning to look at the guy, having had my absolute fill of smarmy San Francisco attitude 20 years ago and carrying the "trauma" forward to this day, and yelling] Why the FUCK are you here then?!

I was sick of  (and nauseated by) San Francisco attitude in '94, and I've been sick of the recent influx of West Coasters into Austin who've been partaking of the town while tossing out smug judgments on it. (One asshole I overheard on the bus months ago was actually CRITICIZING the fact that the streets here weren't more "dangerous," unlike his hometown San Francisco. Another guy on the bus, a grad student, hometown unknown, was bragging about the money he was getting from the University to study here, but belittling the state as a whole.)

Why the FUCK are you here then, indeed?!

When I shouted at the guy today, just about every professional/student head on the previously quiet bus looked up at me, then just as quickly turned back to their devices. The response of the guy himself was first a smirk and then a subsequent quieting down. (I must admit that I was, at that moment, in the incredible mood for a fight.)

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