Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Back Door Man

To call myself a slacker lately would be a disservice to slackers. A case of apathy dug its claws into me and transformed me into a shadow for about five days. This blog was a victim of that for sure. I'm already picking up a scent of the coming weekend, which could be a bad thing for my productivity. Hey, at least I can reflect and acknowledge these things, right? I could be in total denial and keep going through these hamster wheel motions toward nowhere. The thing is, I am starting to feel normal again today.

So, welcome to the first installment of spring. I am born again, in more ways than one. For instance, Monday I cashed in a personal day and hit the Apple Store. Like most guys, I don't meander and burn a lot of time when shopping. That said, I walked out of there after about 15 minutes $2k lighter and one Macbook heavier. So now I'm a smug Mac disciple. Actually, that's not entirely true, yet. Introducing the Macbook as the newest (and sexiest) member of the family did not go as smoothly as I expected. To make a long and boring story short, the wireless network seemed to reject it, which means I get to spend hours on the phone with Verizon and/or Linksys tonight trying to hash this out. Hopefully that will conclude my pledge period and get me on board that Mac hipster bandwagon.

(Just a quick note: Someone told me I copped out last week on this blog. I think there's some truth to that. Aside from the prosthetic piece, I am not proud of much last week. I sense this delicate line between too much self-disclosure and what someone would want to hear and worry about going too far to either side. Then sometimes I think who gives a shit, this is my rear view mirror. In any case, I hope to be more faithful and interesting, even if it means sticking with the raunchy material...)

Saturday morning, around 5:45, I found myself on a DC Metro bus completely chewed up from the night before. My last ride on a Metro bus was with Jack about 2 weeks prior. We took the L2 from Chevy Chase down Connecticut Avenue to Woodley Park. He absolutely loves the bus. Every time one rolls by our house, he jumps up and down and screams "Bye-bye, bus! Bye-bye, bus!" The nanny will sometimes take him on bus rides for pure entertainment value. Prior to that ride with Jack, I hadn't been on a bus in 4 years. So there I was, some creep among creeps (okay, maybe these other passengers were fine citizens, but none of them looked any more alive than me), licking my wounds in the back row while the city slept in. The occasional pothole would rock the bus and jar loose certain memories of the previous night, splintering my skull in the process. If I squinted hard enough, those memories would transform back into blurs and allow me to focus on how I intended to gain entry into the house without catching a shower of scorn from my wife. As it happened, that was completely smooth (my wife is nothing but cool), but my dismount from the bus was a different story.

Back when I lived in Adams Morgan I took the 42 bus to and from my downtown office every day for 4 years. Somehow I managed to avoid being that pathetic commuter who was required to holler "Back door!" when the back door failed to kick open at each stop. Of course this all caught up with me Saturday morning when the bus edged up to my stop. I opened my mouth and reached for those dreadful words, but the whole gesture was futile, as a bog of frogs had performed a coup in my throat and held my vocal chords hostage. The half pack of cigarettes I'd consumed the night before certainly had not helped my cause. All I could deliver was a paltry "Ba--ahem--ahem--AHEM--AHEM! Back--ahem--ahhhhem!" The experience was rather strenuous and embarrassing. Truly, it would have been worse if my fellow passengers didn't look like those jury duty peers you see salivating in that Multrie Courthouse ATM line for that $4 stipend. Luckily my throat spasms, which had to sound like some middle-eastern, flem-driven language, caught the attention of the driver, who had enough mercy to unlatch the door and release me into the shivering morning.

On the sidewalk, I cursed the paper-cut wind, cleared my throat, and spit as I watched the vessel roar away. The frogs had dispersed, so I enunciated a crisp and clear "Bye-bye, bus. Bye-bye, bus" then trudged the 10 blocks home to tell Jack all about my (mis)adventure.

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