The bus was pretty empty and for some unknown reason, I decided to count the number of people who got on at every stop between where I got on and where I got off. I thought it would be interesting, but it really wasn't. I mean it might come in handy if I did it regularly and then charted a frequency distribution, and... But I totally digress...
A guy who got on at the McKimmon Center stop didn't seem to have any trouble with the driver when he boarded, and we hadn't moved yet, but when he took the seat behind me, he said, presumably to himself, "Who's driving this mother-fucker?" I thought of the mother on Six Feet Under and I got the urge to do what she might do in this situation, which would be to turn around and hiss , "Language!" I resisted, though. Since I'm actually not the mother and this isn't Six Feet Under.
No body language says, "I'd really rather sit alone, thank you," more than taking the aisle seat of a two-person seat.
Again, on my walk to my building I snapped a picture of the progress of the new bus shelter. Since yesterday, they've poured the foundation back behind the sidewalk, which was just a big hole yesterday.
For comparison, and posterity, I then snapped a picture of the old shelter that it's replacing. You can't tell from this picture, but the glass that was on the right side of that shelter is missing. That's what was shattered all over the ground many months ago when I reported it.
I had a glorious no-meeting workday.
Near the end of the day, the person who's coordinating our move to the basement next Tuesday dropped in to put some destination labels on some furniture in my office even though I'm not taking my furniture with me. We've hired a new person, and most of my furniture is going to his office.
She also mentioned that she was going to recommend to management that all of us work from home next Tuesday, as all of our furniture and computer equipment will be in transit. That would be great.
It must be my week for (relatively) long discussions at the bus stop waiting to go home. I arrived at that little shelter, the one pictured above, at 5:59.
There was a guy at the stop when I arrived, and within about a minute, he said, "Hey man, how you doing?"
"Doing fine; I hope you are," I replied.
He asked, "You waitin' on the 12?"
"What time it come?" he asked.
"Well, it's supposed to be at the Bell Tower (just down the road) at 6:00, which should put it here a minute or two later, but it rarely arrives before 6:05, 6:10 the latest."
"Hey man," he said again, this time approaching me with his hand extended, "You ain't afraid of black people, are you?"
Laughing, I assured him that I wasn't, and later wished I'd've thought to retort, "And you obviously aren't afraid of white people, are you."
"I just had a job interview over at Crabtree, and I'm on my way back to the shelter for the night. Can you help me out with a little something to get something to eat before I go back there? They got the shittiest food in that place."
I pulled a gift certificate for McDonald's out of my laptop bag, and I handed it to him. He examined it, perhaps looking for an expiration date on it, I don't know. That's certainly something I would have done. After saying thank you, of course.
Then he said, "Man, they ain't no McDonald's nearby."
"There's the one right there at Cameron Village," I replied.
"I ain't goin' by there, I'm going downtown."
At this point, I thought of my friend Hugh Hollowell and a conversation we had once about my feeling better about offering a coupon for food—as opposed to cash—in these situations and specifically about the question he asked with regards to feeling that way, which essentially was, "Why can't just giving be enough? Why do you want to give with conditions?"
In spite of that, I barreled on, "There's that one down there on South Street," but I had absolutely no idea if the shelter he was going to was anywhere near that McDonald's.
"No, man. I won't be near that one."
I said, "Look man, that's all I'm doing for you today," to which he replied, "Okay."
The quiet was awkward for a minute, and I thought, "Where is that damn bus?" It was now 6:10.
Then he said, "Where you stay?"
"Over by Avent Ferry and Gorman," I responded.
"You own your own place over there?"
"Yes, I do," I replied and then I asked, "Where did you used to live?"
"Up on Gorman," he said.
There was another moment of silence, and at 6:12, we finally saw the bus in the distance, making its way up Hillsborough Street.
I asked, "So, how'd your job interview go?"
"Oh, it went all right. The guy said he'd get back with me in another day or two to let me know something."
"You know Hugh Hollowell?" I asked.
"Yup, sure do," he said watching the bus approach.
"He's a good guy," I said.
I waited to see if he was going to add anything, but surprisingly, he didn't.
When we got on the bus, he took a seat up front and as I passed him to take a seat further back, I said, "Good luck with the job, man."
"Thanks, man," he replied.
I really wanted to get to the gym tonight before dancing, but having gotten home so late, by the time I had dinner, it wasn't going to happen. And didn't.
Dancing was an absolute bust on all accounts. We didn't have very many dancers there, and there were virtually no bar patrons out and about. Bill wasn't there, Carl arrived late, and then left at 10:00. And I followed right behind him, essentially leaving just Ernie and Michael there.
Since I'd gotten maybe three dances in, which translates into very little exercise, and my gym is open 24 hours during the week, I went there and did 300 ab crunches, followed by my 40-minute upper body routine. It was extra not fun lifting weights at 11:00 at night.
On the way out, I went to drop in to the next-door grocery store, but trying the door found it locked. "I thought this place was open 24 hours," I thought, considered for a moment that I had to go in the other door after a certain hour, which is the case at the grocery store closer to my house. But then I just blew it off. I was just going to pick up some cheese, which I don't absolutely need for tomorrow, and which would probably be cheaper at that grocery store closer to my house anyway.
At my car, I could see the lit sign after the grocery store name that said, "Open 24 hours."
At home, I read three or four chapters of The Help, and then got to sleep at a reasonable hour, which was good, because I want to go into work an hour earlier than usual tomorrow morning.