Monday, May 4, 2009

Waiting for the Bus...

I never could understand the propensity we have toward standing in line. We'll run from one place just so we can wait in the next and stare at the back of some stranger's head. It's the very definition of "hurry up and wait."

Right now, I'm waiting for the bus, seated on an uncomfortable wooden bench. But even though it's hard, unforgiving and isn't really angled well at all for lumbar support, it's way better than standing in the line that's ever-growing in front of me. It now snakes its way past the men's restroom entrance, pushes beyond Honey Dew Donuts and threatens to block the doorway to the women's commode.

This bus, by the way, doesn't leave for another 20 minutes. And it leaves every hour, on the hour. it's not like it's anything exciting or it'll get so full that you'll miss it. Rush hour doesn't even hit full swing for another hour. And by then, the transportation company will be running three buses every hour to handle the demand.

It seems a lot like amusement parks, waiting for the bus. We'll gladly shell out $60 for a day's worth of getting sunburned while waiting upwards of 90 minutes for less than 90 seconds of pleasure. We'll then take a half-dozen heart-pounding rides in 12 hours, then call it a day—but not before buying the obligatory t-shirt to proudly proclaim, "I rode the XXX!" The underlying statement of said t-shirt being, "I waited two-and-a-half hours to do it. Aren't you jealous?"

Back in the terminal. There are even more people in line now. Each maintains a nice, safe distance from each other, not speaking, not making eye contact. They're jealously guarding their respective spaces, though. The posture of each potential bus-rider says, "This is MY place, MY spot. I am 5th. I am 8th. I am 12th." and so on. Some have even dropped knapsacks, positioning them between feet, building an even more solid foundation to their unspoken, and heretofore, unchallenged 2-foot by 2-foot plot of line land.

I wonder if the business woman in heels' feet hurt? Do the shoulders of the backpacker ache? And, why, pray God, would you try to make a 6-year-old stay in one space for 45 minutes before boarding a bus that'll make him sit still in his seat for another hour?

Lines suck.

On top of all of it, when they move, they never go fast enough. I'll join it when they start taking tickets and passengers begin heading into the idling bus, single file, shuffling for seats. But if I've neglected to take my ticket out of my bag or if I get my rolling suitcase caught on a stanchion, then I'll be subjected to rolled eyes, muttered curses, and my nearest neighbor standing ominously close. All because of a few seconds delay.

My line on lines? They're overrated. Get in late, get out early and cut wherever possible.

Note: I wrote this a couple weeks back, in a notebook, while waiting for the bus. Forgot to upload it here... and, by the way, I will try to update more often than ever two months.