Traffic badminton. Among spectator sports its closest cousin would be crowd watching from a bench at the mall, only less intense.
Standing at the curb waiting for my bus, I watch a shuttlecock as it crosses in front of me and flies into the distance and then watch as another shuttlecock makes the return trip. Left, right, left, right, back and forth, back and forth.
I watch the people encapsulated in the shuttlecocks, swatted into motion by the hidden forces that propel morning commuters out of their beds and off to work.
This is my half anniversary. I've been watching traffic badminton now for six months. That's 3 1/2 dog years.
I can't imagine going back to solo commuting. Not only am I more relaxed when I arrive at work, but I have read 17 books while riding Sacramento Regional Transit buses and light rail. I would like to find a way to convince more people of the joys of riding transit to work.
This morning I watched a man attempt to read the newspaper while he drove his car. He had his left hand on the wheel and was holding the paper in his right. In the brief time he crossed my path, the guy took his hand off the wheel so he could turn the page, then looked up at the road and then down at the paper, returning his left hand to the wheel. I waited for the sound of the collision at the all-way stop in the distance, but apparently he made it through the intersection without incident.
I wanted to tap on the glass and suggest to the guy that he could do all the reading he wants riding a bus to work and not endanger a single person with his reckless disregard for proper vehicle operation.
Instead I boarded my bus and had a very uneventful commute to work.