Friday, March 19, 2010
Not long ago, whenever I took the bus it was very rare that I wasn't in a rush to actually enjoy the ride. Either the bus would come too late, not at all, or break down two miles from work, therefore making the usual commute an abnormally high-stressed point in the day. My schedule is a little less pressing these days, but I still appreciate that commuting by bus means getting from Point A to Point B while simultaneously reading or putting on make-up without angering other drivers. Also, my inner social observer is gifted an all-access visual pass to people-watch. From style of clothing to accessories to the amount of dirt accumulating underneath the nails - resulting in thoughts ranging from "WTF?!" to "ooh-lala" - the writer side of me is always inspired, with a potential character born every ten minutes.
That said, I can't help but think that constant exposure to people in such a confined space makes me a little more observant than usual and therefore more sensitive to trends and styles that people would normally let slide. Take the pre-faded, pre-worn shirt or pair of jeans look, for example. We all know that there is nothing vintage about a faux vintage Justin Bieber t-shirt. You can't faux-vintage a sixteen year-old dreamboat's image in 2010, unless that dreamboat is Corey Haim (may he rest in peace). Another trend perhaps would be the bouffant, especially when assisted by the Bumpits. Holy hell. An irrational waste of plastic.
But all in all, a quick change in expression, mannerisms, reactions, the way one shifts their weight when the bus jerks suddenly - it's kind of fascinating. In a way it makes me miss New York. In visiting the city one to two times yearly, I've grown fond of the variety of people - age-wise and social class-wise - and at times the corresponding fashion. Who's reading what, who's rocking what. However, I have friends who for some reason say you can't miss somewhere you've never lived before. Of course I disagree, but that will have to be elaborated upon at a later time.
And, oh, the inevitable, sustainable love/hate relationship with lots of bodies packed into a small space. I remember my heart beating out an interesting rhythm while in line for the Indiana Jones Adventure at Disneyland once; rush-hour knows how to push the panic button just as hard. When wedged in like sardines after a long day only to crawl down the street and stop at another bus stop and to pick up more souls, crawling even further until one must push their way out the doors as if shopping at Macy's on Black Friday - it's all a bit ridiculous and should inspire a more concerted look at the frequency of buses. I truly believe that every thirty minutes isn't enough. Why not every fifteen (and why not after 9:00 pm? Okay, all right; one issue at a time).
Apparently I could go on. Rather, I should probably invest in a red pocket-sized notebook and pull a Chelsea Handler, making note on the details of my orange-boxed, florescent-lighted life instead of my horizontal life.
Photo via safran-arts.com