There is a certain happiness sighted when your bus comes along. It is of course a small specialized form of happiness and will never be a great thing.

-Richard Brautigan, The Old Bus

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Off to work

Got to hurry. Time to go. What are you doing? Stop that. No time. Go! Go! Go!

It's a good thing I'm not a polygamist because getting the wife to her bus stop is a lot like herding cats. More than one wife just wouldn't work.

Today, the wife had a meeting downtown at 4th and P at 8 a.m. And because she was headed downtown instead of Rancho Cordova she was able to take the No. 82 that stops next door.

But she had to be on the curb by 6:28!

While the kid slept in, I made the wife's tea (remember, the answer to Q2 is "cup holders on the bus") and generally fretted. I'm one of those people who enjoys today's requirement that you get to the airport two hours before your flight. Before 9/11, everyone gave me grief about getting to the airport that early.

This morning, I'm worried that I'll have to drive the wife to an alternate stop if she misses the No. 82. From a transitarian point of view, I consider that cheating.

But thanks to my pushing and prodding and griping and agonizing, the wife made it out the door on time. Whew! (The wife disputes this account of events.)

While she walked to the bus stop I harnessed up the dog for her morning walk. The dog and I were a half-block past the stop when the bus arrived and carted off the wife. I waved. The dog found more interesting scents in a bush.

The wife's trip wasn't exactly perfect. Regional Transit's fixation with the Capitol and downtown proper creates a void in the region of 4th and P. The wife had to walk from 5th and L streets. (And why is it that the No. 38 doesn't go all the way to the end of P and back out Q?) But I reminded the wife that a proper transitarian diet, which she professes agreement with -- in principal, requires mixing walking with riding.

After the wife's meeting, she called me, and I did my 321-BUSS impersonation, telling her when the next train to Rancho Cordova would align with the bus she needed to take to reach her office. The bus connection delayed things, but I pretended that was good since it meant she had plenty of time to walk to the light rail station at 8th and O streets.

The wife caught the train and made the bus connection. It was like she was living in a city with a real transit network. She called me from the bus. She said she was happy she had taken the bus to the meeting. She has years of experience attending meetings downtown. She knows how annoying it can be trying to find a parking space.

Watching the scenry roll by the window of her bus, she enjoyed not driving.

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