Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Six Weeks

That seems to be the point at which a bus rider is no longer considered a newbie. At least that’s the timing on the morning bus I take. I now get the “nod” and occasional smile and have been accepted as one of the Regulars, instead of just some poor schmuck stuck on the bus while his car is in the shop or something.

The afternoon bus is not the same. I don’t know why, but I almost never see the same people in the afternoons. Based on yesterday’s ride, I think that may be a good thing. For the first half of the trip, Farting Guy sat next to me. Every time we bounced, he would squeak out a fart. And he was STINKY! Phew! When he left, his seat was taken by an Andy Warhol wannabe. He was very aloof and very proud of his “look”. I suspect he thought he looked hip, but I just thought it made him look old and pathetic.

This morning, I saw two non-regular riders who looked so similar to each other I did a double take. They were both a little pudgy, medium height, with short light brown hair. Their chins and noses were alike and the way they carried themselves was the same. But one was wearing a shirt and tie (and young enough to look like he still gets excited at the idea of “suiting up” every morning), while the other was covered—and I mean COVERED—in tattoos. It was obvious from the way they interacted that they don’t know each other. I thought it was an odd juxtaposition.

So, do any of you remember when backpacks used to be the domain of College Students? I remember getting my first backpack in High School and being really ahead of the curve. Hardly anyone else had one and I used to get teased about it (but my hands were free—dorks). Now everyone has backpacks. Everyone! I see teeny little Kids with their miniature packs full of Toys, Students with their packs full of Books, Goths with their packs full of Red Bull and Black Eyeliner and Cigarettes, and Business People with their packs full of Very Important Things. It’s no longer a mark of distinction. But it’s so practical, I wonder why it took so long to become the norm?