No Chains Will Ever Hold That

LizzieLou | nablopomo,neighbors | Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

I left work yesterday evening at my usual time and walked the several blocks it takes to reach my bus stop downtown. It was dark and a little chilly, but otherwise not at all unpleasant. I had about ten minutes or so to wait, if the bus came on time. Many other buses use this stop also, and it is always filled with commuters heading home after work. Nice folks, generally.

Buses came. One came early and idled in the stop for several minutes until other buses started clogging up the street behind it. Finally it moved on and the backlog creeped forward. At the end of the line, just pulling into the bus stop zone at the end of the block, was my bus. Yay! I wasn’t sure if the driver was going to start letting people on or not, and I didn’t want to walk all the way down there just to have to walk all the way back if he didn’t. Sometimes the drivers don’t let people on if they aren’t officially in the zone. I waited a bit and then he opened the doors and people started walking down the sidewalk and getting on. Because sometimes the driver doesn’t stop again farther up in the zone where I was, I figured I’d better get down there and get on with everybody else.

It looked like I was going to be the last one, so I hurried up and waved at the driver twice, once when he started closing the doors, and once when it looked like he was about to pull away from the curb. But I had made it! Just as he was starting off I put my hand up to the window, slapping the glass, then the door, the side of the bus as he continued driving away. Whaa?

ASSHOLE!!!” The twenty or so commuters still waiting for their buses turned and looked down the block at me. “This IS the BUS STOP!!

The driver pulled forward and was now sitting in the center of the bus stop zone where I had previously been standing. The doors opened up again.

For a nanosecond I think I considered not getting on at all. I was hot and mad. But I shuffled up to the back door where one or two other people had stepped on. No surprise, I was again the last one to get there, and thought for a moment that the driver would shut the back door in my face too. “Thank you.” I huffed to no one in particular as I stomped up the steps. I raised my head to find a seat and… there were no seats left.

I was the only person standing, holding on to the railings above my head with both hands. Everytime the driver looked up in the mirror he probably saw me, looming there, all the way home.


  1. Hee. You LOOM, babycakes! LOOM!

    Comment by Lolly — November 29, 2011 @ 4:00 pm

  2. Ack – the letting-folks-on-before-quite-getting-to-the-zone phenomenon is one of the most irritating of bus phenomena, I think. So much inconsistency with how the drivers handle it. They should always stop again at the zone, even if they’ve let people on already – it’s only logical.

    Comment by Matt — November 29, 2011 @ 9:43 pm

  3. Thank you for your support.

    My annoyance was justified. My behavior was bad. And my karmic dessert served quickly!

    Comment by LizzieLou — November 30, 2011 @ 11:03 am

  4. Not again!!!! I am laughing so hard I am shaking. My bed is shaking. The subway line beneath the street is probably shaking. Oh my. What is it with my sister and Seattle bus drivers?

    Does this mean that you are going to leave work late every evening, just like you went to work early for several months after the morning incident? Shaking so hard…. still shaking….

    Full disclosure: I pick fights with food store cashiers at least once a month.

    Comment by Sister — December 7, 2011 @ 1:04 pm

  5. Poor Bear. This sounds like something that would happen to me too.

    When poor Tery went without a license for a year, she became all too familiar with the crappy bus system. In particular, she would hate getting there early in subzero weather, the bus would be there except not “officially” yet. Most drivers would be kind and let passengers wait inside the bus for the 10 or 15 minutes, but every once in awhile there’d be one asshole who was a stickler for rules and not let them in. What’s the point of that?? They’re going to be on it eventually, what on earth difference does a couple of minutes make? Especially when frostbite is a threat?

    Comment by Eelaine — December 8, 2011 @ 3:06 pm

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