In the Bus Bag
Unaccustomed Earth, by Jhumpa Lahiri
Tag Archives: back in the day
Back in May, Bus Nerd’s mama (aka my Gail) gave him a subscription to a Detroit city magazine for his birthday. (As you might already know, the man is rather partial to his hometown.) In last month’s issue, there was a profile of an artist who makes replicas of old-school Detroit bus scrolls.
On the old busses and streetcars passengers learned of the various stops by way of signs on destination boxes [which] contained a continuous, two-sided canvas scroll with an alphabetized list of street names. The destination boxes were manually operated by the drivers and …
Back when I was a young BCiT, I made my grandma mad by (unintentionally) announcing her age to a full 55. At six, I couldn’t understand why she didn’t want people to know how old she was. Even now, I find all the shame and secrecy surrounding the number of years a person has been on the planet to be somewhat difficult to understand.
For Jerome–born May 15, 1939
I was just one of your children. I wasn’t the oldest and I wasn’t a son. Wasn’t good at sports or confident enough to impress you. I was just one of your children, but you were my hero. The man to whom all others have been compared–none ever as brave, as smart, as strong.
How many days did I watch you bolt your soggy cereal and grab your briefcase, sprinting up the alley to a world I wished I knew? That world symbolized courage and independence, and everything I wanted to be. To …
To get to my office from the bus stop (or to the bus stop from my office), I have to walk a decent distance. By the correct path (which involves using the actual sidewalks the city of Redmond provides for pedestrians), it’s probably close to three quarters of a mile. But I don’t take the correct path. Like all the other 545 riders who work in my building, I take a shortcut through an empty lot that is partially paved–and partially not. This works great–except in winter, when it gets dark at 4:30, and the street-lightless evening walk requires the …
A couple of months ago (yes, I have a serious backblog), a reader e-mailed to point out the irony of my first name (which, for those who don’t know, is Carla). As surprising as it might sound, I haven’t thought about my name’s association with automobiles since elementary school. Back then, the class clown (incidentally, the only other kid in my grade who rode the 2 to school) got a kick out of making fun of it. “Truckla! Trainla!” he’d tease on our morning ride. Later, on the way home, he’d pick up where he left off: “Boatla! Planela!” And …