public transit

My car is getting a new top this week, so I’m without wheels. I bummed rides a couple of times, but in a declaration of independence from the schedules of my generous friends, I’m doing the bus thang to and from work for the rest of the week. Obviously none of us think of Houston as a public transportation-friendly city, but I must say that my bus travels happen to be really easy for my two destinations (work and home). Not sure how easy it would be trying to shop for groceries or go out drinking. Maybe I’ll try that tonight. It picks up just a few paces away from Warren’s. People shouldn’t drive after hanging at Warren’s anyway.

So as pretty much all my friends know, I have this thing about driving. As in, I HAVE to drive. All the time. Buying a two-seater wasn’t the best idea to keep me in the driver’s seat since any time there are three or more in the party, I automatically can’t drive. Or, it means I have to somewhat humiliate myself by driving my car when I could easily have ridden with the two or three other people in the bigger vehicle. I know, wasteful. It’s okay – they always look down at me through their SUV windows, point and laugh. Add it to the list. My need to drive comes from a couple of places – one, I trust my driving far beyond anyone else’s and two, I have a weird inner-ear thing that makes me nauseated when someone else is driving and I can’t anticipate the stops, starts and turns. Yes, I’ve puked from this little dis-ease before. Good times. Fun companion on a road trip. Actually, I am good on a road trip because I’m a inexhaustible driver. Energizer bitchy.

To me, the worst possible scenario of not being in control of the wheel involves this little bus that lives in my head (there’s lots of stuff that lives in there – some good, some bad). It’s a shitty old yellow school bus that’s doing about 80 mph on a twisty road that has a mountainside on the left and a sheer drop off to water (and death) on the right. Though I’d never been to Big Sur until last month, that section of Highway 1 is EXACTLY what I’d been envisioning for years. So in some ways I felt like I was home and in others I felt my own impending death. I drove 15 and even 10 mph on that road in the PT Boozer we rented, hands tightly gripping the wheel, so you can imagine my discomfort at having to ride a fucking BUS to and from Mason’ wedding. The wedding site was 19 or more miles from where any of us were staying so we didn’t have the option of driving. I don’t know why Mason and Taylor were so worried about people driving that road after lots of booze with the nighttime fog rolling in and…oh. I didn’t sweat the bus ride until I was on the bus, so it didn’t ruin my time at the wedding or anything. But that bus ride home was one of the more uncomfortable, mentally painful experiences of my life. Then, just a couple of days later, I was in NYC sitting in the back of a cab that was missing pedestrians and other vehicles by inches or less, driven by a manic asshole who wouldn’t let us roll down the window.

Seems these two different transportation situations may have cured me (slightly) of my driving thing. I have had absolutely no problem/fear/nausea riding Metro, and I’d like to think it’s because I’ve faced what I thought was certain death and walked away from it. Metro is a piece of cake. Doesn’t mean I’m ready for another Big Sur DeathBus ride, but maybe it means I can kick back occasionally and let someone else drive. Maybe.