Monday, May 12, 2008

Can you tell I'm on the bus a lot?

This morning, I was surprised to see how crowded the bus arrived to my stop. I'm fairly close to the start of the line, and I've never had to stand for my morning commute. This morning I certainly didn't have to stand, but I didn't have my normal pick of seats.

I let the shift of the bus throw me into a two seater next to some girl, and immediately started the business of settling myself. I adjusted my bag on my lap, made sure my ipod was on a pleasing volume, and got my book out. I'm reading The New Kings of Nonfiction, a collection of essays edited by Ira Glass (hell no, it's not for class - in my dreams). A collection of essays makes for a great bus book, because of their length. Short stories are also ideal, and Marilynne Robinson's Gilead was bus magic.

Anyway, in my enjoyment of Malcolm Gladwell, I didn't bother to stare at my fellow bus patrons the way I normally do. I did notice a smug young man across from me, with a faux-hawk and fancy aviators, who I felt was looking a little more than usual. Usually I'd attribute this to my stunning beauty, but this was Monday morning. The girl next to me shifted, and suddenly I realized - we're wearing identical jackets.

I have this green jacket that isn't really my style. It was a gift from an aunt at Christmas, and I really do like it, even thought it's something I'd never pick. The jacket is a hunter green, and it's this cheap quilted polyester stuff. That makes it sound really offensive, but I promise it's not. Anyway, it's definitely cheap, and this girl next to me had on another incarnation of this cheap jacket. So I looked for further matchings: big purse? Check. Oversize sunglasses? Check.

The similarities stopped there, as she had on jeans and flats, and I black pants and boots. But I almost started to laugh anyway. Of all the empty seats on the bus (though there weren't a ton, there were certainly more than one), I sit next to this girl with a matching jacket.

We love the city because you never know what's coming. But on the bus in the mornings, I know what's coming: kids my age, with overpriced coffees and giant bags, making their way to work downtown. My neighborhood is just college with money. If an older person is riding the bus, they stick out immediately as an anomaly. It's funny the things you can learn before you're fully awake in the morning.

ps - Malcolm Gladwell rocks. And Emmy gets to meet him!!!!!!