So I made good on my plan to mass transport myself to work today, and got a slightly slow start, boarding the No. 4 MTA bus on Sunset Boulevard at 7:10 a.m. where I took the above snap of my $3 all-day ticket and then promptly lost it. Seriously, it just vanished after I put it in my shirt pocket and never touched it again.
Thank the heavens I didn’t find it lost until I was ensconsed in my cubicle some 90 minutes and two train rides later. I shuddered at how $250-fine busted I might have been had I been asked to produce the ticket on the Blue Line or Green Line train. And don’t you kow that if I’d known it was gone during the trips my anxiety would’ve been like a magnet to whatever ticket enforcement personnel were in my vicinity.
Trust me, before settling in to the day’s tasks I tore apart my daypack, dove deep through every pocket twice, thumbed through every page of every piece of bound, lose or news paper I had with me… even looked down through the sleeves of my jacket in hopes the ticket might have somehow migrated there.
Nope. It was just g-o-n-e, and if you know me you know how I just can’t accept that and how I dwelled in semi-exasperated disbelief for a good long stretch of the morning. Eventually I did my best to shrug it off, but even well into the afternoon I’d find myself sitting up straight and looking down at my shirt pocket as if somehow I might have missed it or it just miraculously reappeared. Then I’d mumble something like “That’s just not right.”
At the end of the day I had to fork over another three bucks for the rides home and all went smoothly. Getting off the Green Line train at the Imperial/Wilmington station I had a nice encounter with a fellow traveler, a weary bearded African American man about my age who descended the stairs with me displaying a pronounced limp. Out of nowhere beside me he wished me a “blessed holiday” and I wished him the same. He told me he’d spent all his money on his 9 year old.
“You know how that is.”
Yes, I did know how that is, remembering one of the last Christmases I shared with my daughter when she was that age.
Thinking he would next ask me for some spare green I stiffened for the pitch, but it didn’t come and I felt guilty. Instead at the bottom of the stairs he turned and headed off, reiterating his sincere wishes that I be blessed this season.
Afterwards, standing there in the heart of Watts in the chilly night air waiting for the northbound Blue Line to arrive I realized I was.
A Flickr photoset of the commute is here.