04 February 2013

Today's Commute Clocks in at Under an Hour Despite More Out of Service Escaltors

I'm on BART coming home and thinking about how amazing it is that I'm actually a functioning contributing member of society. I have so far avoided institutionalization. I maintain a job. Look presentable and bath daily. I can string together enough coherent sentences to pass as a teacher of English to students from throughout the world. There are no warrants out for my arrest and I have an impressive string of consecutive 24 hours without partaking of drugs or spirits. I am baffled by this and look around at my fellow commuters reckoning they surely must see me as a fraud. I can't possibly belong among these bankers and lawyers and secretaries and accountants and others who own large suburban homes and sprawling lawns and smiling spouses and children at some stage of development that will eventually end in Princeton class reunions. I am a relative pauper a bohemian a socialist troublemaker espousing free love. Surely they've sussed me out and are letting me ride at out of a sense of noblesse oblige. Maybe some day they'll turn me out and send me on my way to a rock pile a mad house or a cardboard box under an overpass. For now they pretend I'm one of them -- a regular guy. After all I sport a tweed jacket and a tie and recently dry cleaned slacks and three figure dress shoes. It is perhaps odd that I read an actual book rather than a kindle or the popular option of staring at my iPhone checking stock quotes (truth be told I don't know stock quotes from Marcel Proust quotes).

I got to BART via a trolley car wonderfully free of tourists. I'm so absorbed in my reading that I pay no mind to all but a few of my fellow travelers. There is one attractive lass who I soon notice is holding an edition of our school's text book. I've never seen her before so she is likely one of the newbies who had orientation today. I may well see her in a class of mine tomorrow and thus have a pang of regret that I spent so much as a second ogling her. The student teacher relationship can't be sullied by lascivious thoughts let alone actions. I hasten to make clear at this point that I do not look upon any member of the farer sex with impure thoughts as I am enjoying a blissfully happy marriage. But still men do have hormones and wandering eyes.....

Descending into the bowels of BART's Embarcadero Station I have to actually walk down to the main level as the escalator is out of service. BART escalators are as reliable a drunk's memory. On my journey home two of the three escalators I encounter will be on the fritz. I am an unabashed fan of escalators. Much as I like exercise I enjoy having my walking being done for me. I often marvel at people who are in such a hurry to get from here to there that they actually walk or even run up or down escalators. It bespeaks a kind of hurried lifestyle I find unnerving. Escalators whisper leisure luxury and ease. They spare knees ankles and thighs needless wear and tear. They are moving stairs for crying out loud. Beat that.

My wait for the trolley car departure had been less than a minute and my wait for the BART train is just at a minute. There will be a bus waiting when I get off BART and I'll have to make a dash to catch it. This combined good fortune means that I walk into my abode just 56 minutes after leaving work. Nice. The bus driver was just pulling away as I got to the vehicle. Many a driver will carry on and leave a frustrated soul behind in such circumstances. This driver is soft hearted and I express my gratitude. The bus ride is only a few minutes long -- not enough time to bother opening a book. At the stop near the Safeway there is the usual cadre of college students with groceries. They invariably manage to bump someone -- in this case me. College students have become increasingly awkward over the years as if some aspects of adolescence have become delayed. They swing backpacks bags and elbows with abandon. Sharing busses with them makes one practice patience and self defense.

The wife is late coming home so I get some work out of the way catch up on twitter and study a bit of Italian.  When she finally gets in we do not leap into one anothers arms but both beam broadly and get down to the serious and pleasurable business of hugs and kisses and how was your days.

Once greetings are complete I will enjoy a humble meal. Questions?

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