Thursday, June 28, 2012

Worse Carma -- Give me a break! (Richmond, VA)

I usually leave my daytime job and stop for a while in a bookstore en route to my second job. But I find myself closer to home this afternoon, so I head there, thinking that I'll try to catch a short nap, eat, or relax before re-jumping into the fray.

Instead of taking the highway, I choose surface streets through residential neighborhoods. I'm enjoying the thought of my impending rest-stop, as I stop at a stop sign. I look both ways but don't catch sight of the school bus hiding behind the hedge in the middle of the median strip until I almost hit it. I hit the brakes, instead. With the sounds of the students' curses ringing in my ears, I take a deep breath to calm my shakes and carefully make my way home.

I'm at the laptop for about half an hour when someone starts banging on the door. When I look out the keyhole, I spot a school bus parked on the corner and a cop on my porch.

"Oh, my God," I'm thinking. "I didn't run the stop sign. The bus didn't have its signs out or its lights flashing. I can't believe they'd come after me for "almost" having an accident!"

I'm shaking as I open the door.

The officer greets me with, "Is that your car, Ma'am?"

The bus driver was turning the corner and took off the front bumper and headlight of M's car. I don't have a key and I'm going to be late for night school.

I give the officer M's phone number and insurance info, and drive off to job #2.

Traffic is bad. I figure I better move to my right long before I need to exit. A car towing a flatbed trailer, full of lawn care equipment and supplies, slides in ahead of me. I turn to make sure I've got enough room to change lanes and begin to move over. When I look back, the trailer is stopped directly in front of me. I hit the breaks and miss the trailer by about six inches.

Will somebody please pick me up from work tonight?????

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Bus, Stop! (En route to New York City)

The left side of my backside is numb from sitting beside a 300-pound woman whose bottom spreads onto my seat the way the tide sends tendrils of water into the nooks and crannies of a sea-level cave. I think that I'm actually sitting on her lap. I'm so dwarfed by her that I worry that she'll tilt me back and stick a bottle in my mouth.

Every few minutes, but with no discernible pattern or warning, she flicks the filmy fabric that covers her head and upper body. Flick. Flick. Flick. It lightly brushes my arms and face, making me itch.

There are no vacant seats. There is no escape.

Feet block the aisle leading to the on-board restroom, which boasts neither rest nor room and not even a working sink, much less toilet paper. Trying to use the facility is anything but facile; as one attempts to lower one's pants, one is batted about, slammed into the wall, threatened with tipping headlong into the reeking, bottomless toilet, ricocheted around like a marble spinning, churning, smashing along its frenzied zigzag through a pinball machine maze. In order to avoid this experience, I refuse all liquids for hours before and during my trip. So now I'm head-achy, grouchy and nauseous. And I have to use the foul WC, anyway. I might never make it out. If I do, I might die of dehydration.

Maybe I should hope for a bottle, after all!