Thursday, November 12, 2009

Today in Brooklyntown

Today I strapped on the baby and had an adventure in the rain. Baby has this fuzzy green jacket with a fluffy hood. The weather was chilly and rainy and windy, all at a level that by themselves would not have been so bad, but together, formed a sort of lethal combo. The perfect mediocre storm. Ok, it was little worse than irritating. It occurred to me that maybe i should have more on Julian's feet than socks? I held his feet in my hands the best that I could. Sometimes I would burrow my face in his hood and sing songs, like Ego Tripping at the Gates of Hell by the Flaming Lips. It was fairly cold out but having a baby furnace on my chest does wonders. I needed nothing more than my gray grandpa cardigan.

I don't know how I feel about the fall leaves mixed with garbage swirling around the ground. Am i to accept this as urban autumn? Is it endearing in its city way? Add the rain and it could be quite dismal. But my boots are cheery, my diaper-bag-that's-really-just-a-purse-because-i-couldn't-bring-myself-to-buy-a-diaper-bag is mustard yellow with an interior that matches Julian's coat, my baby's eyes challenge and spit at the size of the moon, and the way he quietly & intensely stares at everything creeps me out in the most wonderful way.

The bus gods smiled on us today. Not a lot of waiting time. I boarded the bus, greeted the driver, inserted my card, and took a seat at the very front. A few stops later, two gentlemen board. One of them is a giant of a man with a skin pigmentation condition. He's white, but no he's not. He is about 12 feet tall and 8 wide, and heartily thanks the bus driver for "picking us up!" He's not with friends, but includes the others waiting at the bus stop. I smile at this.

Another man makes conversation with the bus driver, who kindly participates despite the passenger's moderate level of Crazy. He tells her repeatedly that when he saw the bus coming he thought, "dang, that sista can drive! They's so many drivers who can't drive but me, when i saw you i thought, dang, that sista can drive!" She chuckles, bemused, then resumes maneuvering the huge rig with one hand while blindly reaching into a mini bag of chips with the other. This should worry me but I swear to you I have been in so many instances where we should have been in some kind of horrible bus accident. So many near-misses, but have had nary a ONE, that I'm left to believe there are invisibile force fields around all buses (or at least the ones i ride) despite the so many horrible drivers that do exist, or that perhaps they're really not horrible after all, that the way they drive is the way it is required to be able to handle such a monstrous vehicle, that the more mini bags of chips one eats while driving, the better and safer we all are. So i sit, observe, and sing songs in baby face.

"I must have been trippin'..."

At one point we pull over at a stop and the driver gets out of her seat and moves back. She yells back for all of us on our side to stand up in the middle or else this bus will have to be rendered out of service. I have no idea what is going on but a man on the bus goes out the back door, makes something happen, the bus lurches? and everyone cheers. I'm totally clueless, mostly because i can't see, but partly because i was distracted, as i was 3/4 of my way thinking out an alternative route home.

"Just ego trippin'..."

At one stop, an old lady on the curb asks the bus driver where the B103 bus is. The driver indicates it is located directly across the street, not 20 feet away from us. The old lady doesn't hear and is looking off in another direction. The bus driver says, "No m'am, you're not looking where i'm pointing. It's just right there." The old lady finally sees, thanks the driver happily, the Crazy man says "wow, you so helpful! Look how helpful you were to that lady." The bus driver turns the massive steering wheel and says, "I do what i can!" and they continue a conversation about truck-driving and how it could be your own condo on wheels.

I disembark, equilibrium awry. I approach my gate and as i'm going through, I trip.

Play song.


Natalie R. said...

Wow, you gotta love those crazy New York experiences!! I think I only ever braved a bus two or three times while I was in the city, and only when someone else was with me who knew what they were doing. Somehow subways just felt safer to me (safer in the "If I get lost, I can find my way again," not in a level of real danger).

Joel said...

Actually, the bad bus drivers just die their first week. I saw a bus in Korea trying to make a narrow turn that ended up jammed up against a telephone pole.

lindsey v said...

Bus force fields - that'd be cool.

I LOVE Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots.

Alanna said...

I love those first outings with just you and the bebe. I always felt so brave for going out in the cold, infant in tow. I can't even imagine throwing public transportation into the mix!

Amber Alvarez said...

How long would we have lived side by side not knowing of this Flaming Lips connection? Yet another reason I am thankful for your blog and for you.

I did an alternative children's book in collage featuring illustrations from "She Don't Use Jelly".

On Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots I think 'Are You a Hypnotist' is the clear winner, but probably not as fitting a lullaby as 'Ego Tripping'.

I really really, really, really x infinity think that you should submit this to a magazine as is or turn it into a short story for your book that will then be turned into a movie ala 'Julie & Julia.' I love the imagery.

In other news, I will not be content until you write a song entitled "Am i to accept this as urban autumn?"

)en said...

:D :D :D