I missed my stop on the bus this morning. In the year and 7 months I’ve commuted to work, this is the first time it has happened.
I was on the Express Bus traveling from Staten Island to Manhattan. I sat in a window seat towards the back of the bus, next to a girl wearing a black dress suit. She had a baby face and looked too young to be dressed so maturely. I guessed she had an internship at a finance firm or just got her first job as the hostess at a high priced Italian restaurant in midtown. I was half asleep with my eyes closed when the bus swerved. Her Louis Vuitton purse fell onto my lap. I opened my eyes. “Sorry,” she said with a panic in her voice, as if she spilt water on my just-blow-dried hair. She quickly grabbed it back. I was tempted to steal it from her. It was the exact model of the purse I still owed my sister for her birthday. Her birthday was in July.
I reassured my seat partner it was ok that her bag fell onto me. “It’s ok,” I mumbled, “don’t worry about it.” I said it the same way I say “thank you” when a stranger holds the door open for me. I say it audibly, but low. Kind of like an afterthought. I sincerely mean it, but don’t actually want to address the person. I crossed my arms and closed my eyes.
The bus emerged from the tunnel. I opened my eyes when we drove by the river. The outdoor city landscape rejuvenated my stiff, cubicle-inflicted body. I took in a deep breathe which did nothing because I was on an enclosed bus. I snapped a picture using my Iphone. Please excuse the smudged window. Unlike Supreme Court Judge Thurgood Marshall, this shadowy picture does not do the scene justice.
The bus exited the West Side Highway. I started to slip in and out of sleep. My head would tip then fall, which would wake me up. This happened four times. The longest I’ve ever fallen asleep on my morning commute has been two minutes.
Time passed. I fell into a deep slumber. I had a morning terror. I dreamt I was in a factory that manufactured cardboard boxes. The walls of the factory were painted yellow. I had the feeling that I was free falling. I knew my death was near. I awoke whimpering, like a kitten with a broken paw. The girl sitting next to me looked at me with panic in her eyes, once again. She pressed the red “next stop” button.
I looked to see what street we were up to. I usually get off at 42nd street. We were at 49th street. I missed my stop. As stated in the first sentence of this blog, this was the first time this has every happened.
I got off 6 blocks later than I should have. I like to walk because it shapes my calves. I was not going to be late to work. It was in no way an inconvenience.
Getting off the bus late was an insignificant moment in my life. So insignificant that it doesn’t even deserve its own blog entry.