I stood under the bus stop last night headed from Manhattan to Staten Island. It was 9:30pm. After work, I’d met some friends for Happy Hour where I consumed 2 Margaritas. Because the drinks contained tequila, I felt slightly tipsy. The blood that ran through my body felt 4 degrees warmer than usual. The emotions that ran through my heart felt 4 degrees more intense than usual.
I am a sensitive person even without alcohol. Last month a woman sitting on the subway asked me to, “please not hit [her] in the head with my backpack”. I said, “sorry”, turned around, and teared up.
On my birthday one year in college, I drank 9 beers then cried for an hour because I didn’t want to turn 20. It was my 19th birthday.
I waited at the stop for five minutes. I listened to Celine Dion’s It’s All Coming Back To Me on my i-pod. I saw my bus in the distance. I stepped toward the curb. There was a second bus stop 50 feet to the left. Both bus stops were for Express Buses. I know for certain that I was standing under the right bus stop. I take the xN bus. I stood under the xN stop. The same stop every stand at every day to go home.
The approaching bus stopped briefly at the first stop, 50 feet away. Not at my stop. No one was waiting for it, so it pulled from the curb. Why is it stopping over there? I thought. It started to speed away. I wanted to get home and did not want to wait another 20 minutes for the next bus. I waved my right arm high in the air back and forth to get the drivers attention. I felt like a kid whose parents accidentally left her at a gas station. I side shuffled the same direction of the bus. The bus abruptly stopped.
I stepped onto the bus and dipped in my metro card. “Next time stand at the right stop so you don’t have to run and flag me down,” I heard the driver say to me sarcastically. Each word felt like the jab of a dulled butter knife. I looked him in the eye. Oh Hell no, I thought. I had never seen this bus driver before. “I was standing right underneath the xN stop,” I pounded my chest twice to look tough, “I’m sure I was.” He didn’t respond.
I sat in a window seat in the middle of the bus. I cried. Tears fell down my cheeks; enough tears to fill half an ice cube tray.
I looked towards the front of the bus. I saw the bus driver’s reflection in his mirror. He made “Bullwinkle” ears and stuck out his tongue at me. The ultimate insult. I felt uncomfortable. I looked at the guys sitting across the aisle to see if he noticed. He was sleeping.
I just told my sister about how the bus driver pulled up to the wrong stop. She told me that it was the right stop and I was wrong.