Friday, July 15, 2011

Stopping and Starting

Every time the bus driver slams on his brakes at a stop sign – I don't understand, he drives this route ten times a day, does he not remember where the stop signs are? Do they sneak up on him? Are they camouflaged until the last second, whipping off their branchy costumes and leaping into the street? – my broken computer hinge gives way and the screen falls backward onto my knees so the computer is lying flat, looking up at the WIC ads and stroller guidelines and rate increase announcements on the ceiling.

There are a LOT of stop signs on this route.

So I'm writing and it goes like this:

I don't know what makes Monday different from every other sweat-in-your-butt-crack just-this-side-of-committing-murder-for-a-cold-drink early August day in Delbarton. Maybe it's the heat, which



is holding in the nineties even hours after the sun's gone down. Or it could be Hyacinth's ear infection, which has caused her to scream for three straight nights while I have lain awake on top of the sheets, studying the dead bodies of moths in the light cover. Maybe it's the fact that I am



halfway through an ice-cold jug bath, pouring gas station water out of a gallon milk container and shocking my system into full alertness, when I remember our water service was turned back on yesterday and I could be taking a piping hot shower.

Maybe it's Lock Rawley




And this is about the time I remember that I'm on the 6:45 to Barboursville, which is about as crowded as a bus can get, not counting the inbound Walnut Hills coming back from Wal-Mart. I've got headphones in, so I can't hear the repeating litany of thud-crap, thud-crap all the way out Route 60.

Odd, nobody else this morning is wearing headphones. Except for the lady who is asleep against the window with her purse slowly spilling off her lap into the aisle, and the woman with a cell phone pressed to one ear and her palm pressed to the other – presumably to block out the noise of my computer being shaken to pieces -- everybody can hear everything I'm doing.

So now I'm making a conscious effort not to throw a minor hissy fit every time the bus skids to a halt, and it seems to me like the bus driver is making a conscious effort to come to a sudden stop at least once per mile. I think his goal is for my computer screen to detach completely and fly up the length of the bus and shatter on the “Passengers Must Remain Behind The Yellow Line” sign.

I think it is safe to say I'm not going to get much writing done this morning.

This office sucks.


Blythe Woolston said...

Damn, you are brave. And funny. And you are getting the job down. I believe you would write if it had to be done hanging upside down like a bat in an airport baggage terminal.


I agree with Blythe. You'd write whatever the scenario.
I'm proud of you for trying it on a bus. They're insane drivers, I think. Been a while since I've been on a bus but I have a good memory.
I like what's going on in the story despite the stops and starts. Very funny. You are funny.
I look forward to reading the next book.
Hope all is well other than the bus ride!!!
Blessings, Barb

Maeve Frazier said...

Funny and clever! I have not read your book, but I am looking forward to reading it.