I’ll Get There When I Get There

October 1, 2008 at 12:40 pm (Cussed Dumbers, The Easy Chair)

Sometimes the grandest of intentions are for naught. Yesterday I wanted to get a jump-start on the day, so I left for work early. Today? Why bother…

I’d left half an hour early, so I’d have time to grab a cup of coffee, get the work-dirt from Whitney, and show up a few minutes ahead of schedule for my shift. I’ve had an ongoing arrangement with the bosses; I show up a few minutes early, and I can leave 5-10 minutes before official end of shift so I can make it across downtown to catch my bus. Otherwise? It’s an extra hour tacked onto my commute. I spend enough time commuting without piling on. It works great for the afternoon shift. They are happy to see me, they can do their close-out chores without rush, everyone’s happy.

The longtime graveyard guy either forgot, or didn’t care. When it was time for his shift to start, he was nowhere to be seen.

But first, back to the morning commute.

It was an uneventful bus ride, unlike some I’d been on recently. Everyone was chatting quietly, or reading. When we reached the bridge-crossing to downtown, the yellow caution lights were flashing. Bridge up. Grr… Oh well. It usually doesn’t take more than a couple minutes…

And there we sat. The driver got off and smoked a cigarette. Passengers soon followed, standing on the bridge, puffing away. Phones came out. “Yeah, I’m stuck on the bridge…”  “I know!” … “Sorry!” The bridge finally started lowering, then stopped. After ten minutes, it lowered some more.

And stopped. Here comes a barge. Before the bridge could close, it began raising again.

We sat there for twenty-five minutes. By the time we got to the far side of the bridge, the bus I normally catch was two buses back. I waved at my regular driver as I hoofed it to work. Arghh!

I showed up fifteen minutes early, to the delight of my day person. As she hurried to get done, I put my things away. I stashed my lunch, and went to one of my hiding places to fetch my unread Sunday paper and banana from yesterday. The paper was there, but the banana was gone. WTF?

“Where’s my banana?”

The girls looked at each other. “I knew it was yours! Grinder threw it away.”


“Who knows? He’s in the back, you can ask him…”

“Oh, I will. I will…”

I followed the day-girl into the locked office, where Grinder was crunching numbers with his glasses halfway down his nose, tapping furiously on the calculator. “Good morning, Mister Motherfucker-who-threw-my-banana away…”

“Oh, that was yours? Sorry about that! I didn’t know…”

“C’mon, Grinder. I’m the only one around here that eats fruits.” I paused for effect, nudging him on the shoulder. “Except you, of course.”

He laughed, then realized there was a girl in the room and had to act managerial. “I’ll make it up to you. I brought a bunch of tomatoes from my garden. Take as many as you want.”

I did fast math. Banana? 59 cents a pound. Fresh, good shape Roma tomatoes? Buck-fiddy a pound. I got my bananas worth!

Dr T was making jokes about how I should get a banana hammock so Grinder would leave it alone.

“You mean a Speedo?”

Dr T visualized me in a Speedo, shuddered and said, “That just put me off my corn flakes!”

I plucked a few tomatoes out of the grocery bag, and presented the rest to Dr T. If you are what you eat, he and I will have rivaling red complexions in no time.

The work night flew by. Being night-captain of the Mothership isn’t as exciting as it used to be. With cameras and a security guard, (and moi only allowing nonsense of a cerebral nature) the wild times have dried up and blown away like a tumbleweed. (I used to have a plethora of exciting work-related stories. Now I’m bitching about punctuality. But I digress.) The one sorta-exciting thing? My security guard chased a drunk off the MAX, then had him detoxed after he passed out on the sidewalk. We had lots of pretty lights on the train tracks, causing the criminal types to scatter like roaches. They have aversion to lights, especially red and blue ones.

Ten minutes late, my graveyard guy rolled in. “Can you hurry? I’m going to miss my bus.”

He sauntered to the office, emerging fifteen minutes later. My bus was due, ten blocks away, in three minutes. Taint happenin’. Shit.

I took my time, counted slowly. Came out, casually put my coat on, then re-explained the ‘arrangement’.

“Oh! I’m sorry, nobody told me. And I was just around the corner at the bar, heh. I’ll get you out on time tomorrow.”

Damn right you will.

Just missing the train, I walked along the track, reaching the Waterfront store five minutes before the next train. I talked top-secret clown business with Elmo, said hi to Chuckles, and moseyed to the bus stop. I got home over an hour later than usual. My sister was getting ready to leave for her job. She sniffed for booze, my usual excuse for coming in way later than normal. “Everything okay?”

I bitched a little, felt better, and we chatted for a while. We don’t often have time to just sit and shoot the breeze, so it was nice. She left a few minutes later than usual. It seemed to be the theme of the day. I had cube-steak, tomato and cheese sandwiches for dinner, no longer begrudging the banana.

Today? I’m having a leisurely cup of joe in my easy chair, taking the last possible bus, and walking slowly into work. I’m tired of stressing.

As they say in the ‘hood, I’ll get there when I get there.

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