All posts in the adventure category

Gone Swimming (don’t know if I’ll be back)

Published 10 August 2012 by Miss Dilly

Itching and regretting are great ways to wrap up a night.   I realize that could get very dirty, very fast but I’m afraid today this is not a sex story.  I know many of you might have a life on Saturday night, but I had no plans, no prospects and no work last weekend.  So around 8:30 I decide that I wanted to go swimming.  I choose a spot I had never been before.  I walked out the door and down the block to catch a bus and it crossed my mind that I may have forgotten to lock the apartment.  I should have gone back while I had the chance.

From the bus it was a twenty minute walk to get to the lake.  The sun was setting, the sky was beautiful, the weather was comfortable and I was looking forward to a swim.  I get down to the water and there’s people swimming about, eating picnics, tossing a Frisbee, a classic summer scene.  I sat down on the outskirts watching, okay lets me honest, glaring.  I wanted these people to go home.  Wasn’t it time for them to fall asleep on the couch watching Disney movies with their hyped up kids only to be woken up the dog licking their faces instead of their long-detached-yet-what-they-believed-to-be-suitable mate?

At some point I decided the time was right.  I stripped to my bathing suit. Went down to the water, and waded in quickly. The water was the perfect temperature after warming all day.  As soon as I started swimming a tornado of black bugs swarmed my face.  I splashed water around and they backed off some, but stay close enough that when my arms tired they could pounce on my soft, vulnerable flesh. At the rate I was going, it would be a matter of seconds for that to happen.  Somehow my legs pushed me forward, as I got farther out the number of insects died down, leaving a few brave ones hoping for their big break.  I felt a gentle caress on my leg, and then another and then something fuzzy and I’m kicking around as if Bruce himself, the almighty Jaws, was biting my leg.  All I can think of is Creature of the Black Laguna grabbing me and pulling me underwater to his grotto. So I attempt to avoid the seaweed and god knows what else by planking in the water (I’m, like, totes, like, cool – so why not kill two birds with one stone?).

My experience exactly!

There was a wooden dock in the middle of the water, only reachable by swimming. It may have been my only salvation, so I swam another 50 feet and reached it.  There were ducks following me and the bugs had returned.  I climb out, hoping I had bested them both.  Alas, duck poop coated the entire surface of the dock and the bugs only seemed to be bigger and meaner on top.  I pace, trying to not to be eaten alive, I think maybe there is a corner of paradise somewhere on this island.  I look down and two large black insects have landed on my shoulder and chest.  I blow and flick and jump around, utilizing all my knowledge of outdoor survival skills in one grand swoop.  I decide it’s safer in the water than out. That, and to get back I had to swim.  I wobbled down the step latter, turned to gently easy myself in and do a face-plant right through the cloud of bugs to the duck poop infested waters where the lake’s hands-y seaweed feels me up.  I come up sputtering and in full motion.  There was no time to lose.  I swam back, continuously flipping from my stomach, to my right side, to my back, to left side trying to avoid the seaweed touching me in one place too long.  Had anyone observed me I probably looked like I was trying to launch myself to space via aqua-duck method, if such a thing existed.  I finally got enough close to shore to stand, as I dragged myself out of the water I stubbed my toe on the loose rocks and trip once again reuniting me with my  perpetrator.  A couple that was standing not ten feet away audibly laughs.

I sit and air dry for a few minutes reflecting on my near death experience, admittedly a bit sad that my life didn’t flash before my eyes.  I decided I wanted to take off my suit. So I get up and go the restroom. As I’m changing, I look at the inside of the bathing suit top and it has a layer of green goo covering the material.  And then in the bottoms there are green clumps all over.  My mouth is frozen in an ‘eww’ position.  I don’t even know where I should start the worry –Skin infection? A rash? Uncontrollable bowels? Bad hair days for the rest of my life? I might have to get married someday? Gross!

As the generally known, yet unspoken, bathroom law goes, a woman entered the stall right next to me despite four others completely unoccupied. So I have a bit of fun with her, I ring out my suit onto the ground, it makes the perfect noise and splashes, I’m pretty sure a little bit of water got on her toes and I could hear the lady make a sound as she thinks someone is peeing on the floor.  I smile.  I walk out of the bathroom with the grace of a drag queen after a long night of disco dancing, sans glitter and with an itchy bum instead.



A Girl Walks into a…

Published 29 July 2012 by Miss Dilly

I had commuted a long way to the industrial part of town for a job interview.  It was made up of glamorous freeway underpasses, dazzling cement as far as the eye can see and rusting machinery and run down factory buildings beckoning this young lady with a  ‘come hither look’.  I dressed well, if I do say so myself.  Wore a dress, Mary Janes, makeup- the whole shebang.  I took more than my usual 10 minute routine for this event and I was rewarded.  Not how I would have expected though. 

I finished the interview and am walking back to the bus stop.  The closest is about a 10 minute walk.  Construction is going on and there is a foreboding white and red sign on the stop’s pole.  Indeed, the stop is closed and it tells me arbitrary street names as if I’m supposed to have GPS in my brain.  On the ride there I noticed the bus went straight down the same street straight for several blocks so I figured I would walk down to the next one.  I set out on my walk.  I’ve learned that street blocks become longer and more desolate in industrial wastelands. There weren’t any turnoffs and no sidewalk really, so I walk off the street separated by a ‘cement fence’ (a precaution I took despite the lack of dangerous traffic).  I stop and look at some cool graffiti on the building along the street.  The side bar is getting smaller and smaller so I straddle the fence, which is no easy task in a dress might I add, and hop the rest of the way over.  I walk a few feet and in the distance I can see car coming towards me, it morphs into a cop car.  At the back of my mind I recall passing sign nailed down that said:




I hadn’t really registered that I was doing something wrong.  I still kind of figured he’d have more important things to do than hunt me down.  He slows down and gets out of the car, I stop.  He’s a middle aged man with a beer gut and a shining bald head. 

He says to me, “What are you doing Miss?”

Do you know that reaction where you just want to cry?  I don’t like to admit this and it doesn’t happen very often but, that was my first feeling.  So I slapped my emotions upside the head and didn’t shed a tear. 

Without hesitation I respond saying “I was looking for the next bus stop, the one back there was closed”. 

He asks what direction I’m going and a few other things, I answer as innocently as possible and expressing my lack of knowledge that I wasn’t supposed to be walking here.  He believed me, I believed me- which is good since it was the truth.  He mulls over my situation, while I’m standing there sweltering in the heat, my calves are dirty from the climb over, and I’m considering if at that point I should say that I do have a star trek transporter but I just wanted to walk for kicks.

Beam me up Scotty.

The policeman says he’ll drive me to the next bus stop.  At the back of my mind there’s a part of me that feels reluctant to get in the back of any car, no matter how safe a black and white ford with bars and locks appear to be.  But as the saying goes, I was stuck between a rock and a hard place.  I got in the back of the police car.  We don’t talk.  My knees are practically squished up to my chin and I am surprised at the cleanliness of the back seat.  Through the grates I watch his screen saver, pictures flick by of hunting, barbecues and sexy women.  Classic.  Thank god he didn’t have pictures of metaphysical symbols and people doing yoga- that would have completely shattered all my treasured stereotypes of policemen. 

The drive doesn’t take long at all.  He pulls up at the bus stop.  He says “these people are going to think you’re a hardened criminal”.  I laugh.  He has to open the door for me and says have a good day.  I apologize again and thank him.

I get out, observe the lovely 7 onlookers staring at me, walk over to benches as if this is a regular occurrence and stand at the bus stop.  I surely hope they thought I was a hardened criminal. 

How to Lose Friends (and make smelly ones)

Published 28 May 2012 by Miss Dilly

Shocking, I know, I do make friends.  But here’s an easy* way I’ve learned to get rid of them, if one really must.

Go snorkeling.  You make new friends easy on the boat ride out, like a girl who realized her bikini top did come off when she dived from that high rock.  Everyone agrees to swim together and take pictures of each other.  Then you dive in and the world becomes quiet. And you can’t really turn you head too much because you’re snorkel will dip into the water and clog you breathing tube proving that you aren’t the Aquaman afterall.  The water moves gently and you float absentmindly enjoying the underwater world rivaling Seaworld by a mile and a half.  So as I’m swimming around it crosses my mind that I haven’t seen anyone in a while, so I pop up and I’m alone.  It’s great, I don’t want to worry about where other people are and making I have enough pictures to show people, I want to enjoy the few hours I’ve got in this new underwater world.

So I lost a few human friends but I made a few smelly ones, they’re awesome.

One of my favorites. There was a plethora of these fish but their colors were amazing!

The zebra fish. I was taking a picture of their group and on my screen one was really close, I was like this is going to be a great picture! Then I realized it was in between my camera and my face!

Fishy 🙂

Fish hiding in the coral. I have so many pictures, it was so difficult to just pick a few to post.

Can’t remember it’s real name so it shall be called Massive Fish. I like this picture since the guide gives an excellent size reference!

*Easy of course if you can jump on a plane, train or automobile and get snorkeling.  Now isn’t that easy?

The Hike of Death

Published 17 April 2012 by Miss Dilly

I took this one! The actual day of horror (and only here shall I admit, some enjoyment).

 Before I go on, like all my stories, the title was the most frightening part.  I tend to exaggerate and probably have let a lot people down with the fact that I didn’t actually almost die.  But never mind that, keep reading, who knows what could happen.  I’ll die someday.

This is another Australia story.  As many have probably heard Australia has some of the most dangerous animals in the world.  And like the paranoia of being caught wearing mismatching socks by Tim Gunn, I was a tad worried of these famous buggers.

Now I hadn’t completely willingly signed up for this bush walk.  There was an information session.  And let me tell you- they are fronts, not for human trafficking, but clever plots to force people to experience nature whatever the cost.  I went by myself, it was in the upstairs of some rickety building.  There was loads of people there actually (a good ruse to throw me off the kidnapping track) and three small tables with 55 plus year old men sitting at each one.  They tell you about the various places they’re going, about the guides and the difficulty, blah blah blah.  Here’s where it gets crafty, he says to me ‘it’s an 18 K (about 11 miles) walk with hills and maybe would I like to go on the beginner one instead?’ Pft! I say I’m a third of your age and have been hiking since I’ve 6, I think I can handle it.  Okay, I’m much more polite in person, but he still had me right where he wanted me- the ego trip.  The next thing I know I’m thirty dollars poorer and awake at a god forsaken hour where I am loading on the bus with the other sad saps.

The group contained a variety of people. Some other visitors in this dangerous land, a few veterans of bushwalking and the locals who decided they wanted to get out of the city and meet people, generally in the 40-60 year age range.  A very friendly woman sat next to me on the bus, we talked about lots of things.  I’ve never had a problem with talking with people older than me, I always find they have so many more stories to tell.  And older generations don’t normally tell their stories like they’re trying to show you up and try to prove their life is so much more exciting than mine.  I also get to avoid the annoying drunk stories where the young story teller always has this strange juxtaposition of ‘I did something pretty bad and I’m ashamed, but it’s so funny and cool, obviously.’ Then they look at me ‘like why aren’t you laughing?’ Oh yeah I forgot, I just thought you were being an idiot.  ‘Ha ha’.

So after a couple hours on the bus we arrive and start the hike.  The environment is so unique.  I love it.  Do you know what is also unique?  Leeches.  It was a heavily treed area and a fairly moist day.  You walk, minding your own business and leeches fall from the leaves and land on your hand, arm, neck, leg – any exposed skin and suck your blood.  I kid you not.  They’re the size of your pinky and are dark black.  The key is to let them finish their business because if you knock them off before they’re done you just bleed and bleed. When they finish they will clot the bite so they can save you for an after dinner snack.  As you may have guessed, you shrewd reader you, the reason I know this is because not 10 minutes into the walk I was visited by the leech from hell.  I was agile; the first thing I did was scream.  The second thing was wave my hand back and forth wishing it away.  The third was flicking it off with my other hand.  Luckily I actually saved myself, it hadn’t bitten me yet. I laugh, recovering quickly, hiding my inner torment at the incident.  Everyone had a nice laugh at me and we walked on.

Brown Snake. Sound innocent? Look innocent? Think again! One of Australia's most dangerous snakes.

Farther down the way we’re getting spread few and far between.  There is a bit of a commotion up a head and the few people I’m with as well as myself have no idea what they’re saying.  One person stays behind and as we approach they put their hands out like they’re about to stop a train and say quietly there’s a snake on the trail.  We all freeze.  Looking around, I don’t see anything, which is not exactly a good sign.  I say ‘where is it?’ she put down her crossing guard hands and looks around.  The lady literally shrugs, says ‘walk carefully’ and walks off.  I mean I don’t think she realized that she just created an invisible wall that none of us really wanted to cross after that.  I mean what if the snake leaped (yes leaped with legs) out of the long side grass as we passed? An older man who hadn’t heard about the snake passes us and walks on by.  We hold our breath and say goodbye- he was a brave man who gave his life so we could pass and continue on our walk.  But he lives (major plot twist, I know)! So a couple people tread carefully, then this Irish lady I had been talking with goes and then I follow.  I didn’t want to be the last one, that’s always a bad sign in horror movies – I’ve done my homework. I thought I heard a rustle as I walk by and I peer closely, well as closely as one can when one is dashing by like a maniac.  I’m convinced the snake was still there and I’m also convinced it was Australia’s deadliest snake.

The next scariest thing was a hiker’s worst nightmare.  Blisters.  I was borrowing hiking boots, not a very good idea at all. Stupid, stupid, stupid, in fact. If you learn anything from my story today- never borrow shoes for an 18K hike it’s just… anyone, anyone? Yep, stupid.  Remember that first 10 minutes?  Well my heels were already rubbing.  By the second hour I was in agony, limping.  I brought up the end and I’m surprised I made the whole walk without taking off my shoes.  I didn’t look, I did not want to see the horrible wounds I had inflicted upon myself.  Some people cut their wrists, I do blisters apparently.  As much as I love complaining to my friends, I try not to inflict it on the general population.  So no one really knows that my feet are killing me so much. Towards the end one of the guides comes to me and says ‘can you go a little faster, please?’ I was in the back straggling with the dreamy eyed metaphysical-ist and the out of shape Hawaiian shirt grandpa.  So when he said this to me I must admit I felt a bit targeted – what about these guys?! ‘No! I’m not going to go any faster, you don’t know the pain I’m in and you hat is bothering me’.  Obviously, I am much more polite in person because I cannot really ever come up with witty poignant comebacks.  When we were back on the bus, I take off my shoes and peel off my socks which are sticking to the back of my feet.  The blisters cover my entire heels and they’re ripped open and honestly just sad looking.

So I made it out alive, by a fairly wide hair, but a hair none the less.  When I got home, I was changing out of my muddy clothes and on the back of my right calf I found a lovely reminder of the day: a large dried blob of blood and then tracks of blood down my leg.  The second leech from hell had been more successful than the first. Brilliant.

Over Night, Part II

Published 18 March 2012 by Miss Dilly

[continued from previous post, with the medium sized cliff hanger, where you probably would survive if you let go]

However, with the bridge in sight and the panic attack going off in my head he pulls the bus over to a dark building with a couple of cars in the lot.

After ‘adieus’ and my purposefully tripping over the bag in the isle, as to make sure everyone remembered me, he walks me inside the hostel.  It is a small lobby decorated in youthful eco-looking chairs and happy backpacker posters.  He finds a small envelope with my name on it, hands it to me and says thanks for coming and if I want there’s a bar just over the bridge about half a mile.  Cool – I would love to walk in the dark by myself over a bridge with no foot path to the bar, excellent suggestion. Never the less those were his final words as he leaves me standing there in the dead quiet hostel in the black night. I watched the bus drive away through the glass doors and then I opened the envelope.  A cheery note and a keycard to get in through the next doors was all that was in the envelope on it.

I had felt like it was kind of lonely, but I was actually glad that it was just me and the cheery posters watching me, I mean who knew a piece of plastic trying to recognize another piece of plastic would be so difficult.  After jiggling the door and the required kick to the door that all electronic equipment require I “beeped in”.  On the other side of the door there were no rooms insight, only another door- who I am supposed to be, Barbie from Secret Agent Barbie for Gameboy?  I beeped in with more skill and my brain registered the sign that said Close Door Carefully after 9’o clock as I let the door slam, that’s how I roll after 9 pm (I’m generally a morning person). The door opened to a cold, dimly lit stairwell with my only option being up.  So up I went up, coming around the first corner I thought maybe an evil Ken would jump out at me, or at least a Kelly minion with green eyes.  Oh well, I wondered where my privileged keycard would take me next.

I probably should mention that I hadn’t stayed in a hostel in a very long time, and much less by myself so I wasn’t really sure what to expect.  When I found my floor I opened the door to a bright space that had a hallway with room door and then another door on my left to the kitchen and lounge area.  Even though I was exhausted, I couldn’t help myself; I beeped my way into the kitchen.  My curiosity was satisfied with a whole two and half minutes of looking through the other lodgers’ groceries and resisting the temptation to take a cookie.

It’s still very quiet, I haven’t passed another soul I find my room and beep in like a pro.  It’s dark, I stand in the doorway for a minute waiting for signs of life.  I don’t hear anything, my eyes are adjusting to the darkness and I all I can see is a disheveled, but empty bunk bed.  I’m alone, I switch on the lights.  My eyes do a quick survey of the room, to meet another pair of eyes watching me.  A youngish man is in the far bunk bed and he looked greatly disturbed, and then I quickly switch off the lights and say ‘Sorry!’  I wasn’t expecting a guy, I thought hostels separated by gender in the sleeping areas quarters.  He says it’s alright I can turn the lights back on if I need; he just has to get up early to bike the next day.  He turns over and I say “okay, thanks” and turn the lights back on, set down my backpack. I feel rushed now, like I didn’t really belong there, the guide sure didn’t think so.  I feel like he’s watching me, so quickly take out things to change into, my toothbrush and my keycard that I’ve grown so attached to and go to the bathroom.  I soon return to the room, I get into the available bed.  I look at the other empty bed and wonder who is sleeping there.  I am hoping it’s a girl, this guy in the bed right across from me makes me think of some sort of eighties slasher movie where the antagonist is a mysterious biker targeting hostels.  And knowing my luck I’d be the first victim that illustrates how evil this guy is, not the lovely surviving heroine that wears cute little shorts and a tank top when she goes to bed, I was wearing sweatpants for god sakes- I didn’t have a chance!

I’m finally relaxing and falling asleep when our door is opened and another young man opens the door.  Fantastic.  He doesn’t turn the light on just rustles around some and then gets into bed.  Now I’m the creepy one watching, well at least that is a real twist to the story, I could definitely consider taking on the bad-guy role.  I’m starting to fall asleep again when there’s a loud beep of a cellphone proceeded by the clickity-clack of a keys which comes from our newest arrival.  So, no slashers to end this story, just the inconsiderate new generation of travelers who just have to know that Gary is eating a sandwich now.

Over Night, Part I

Published 15 March 2012 by Miss Dilly

One hostel, one night, one room, one girl.  This is a survival story, with a less than threatening plot and extremely imagined danger to my life.  With that said, it’s a mildly amusing story.

I had been on a full day tour trip in Australia to a place called Phillip’s Island. I signed up for a two day tour where you stay overnight in a hostel nearby, however I only found out after that I was the only one signed up to do so. The rest in the group of 25 were going back to the city. The next day I would be picked up by another tour guide and a new group of people.  The main event on Phillip’s Island is hundreds of little penguins coming in from the ocean to their home in burrows on the surrounding hilly area.  They come in around sunset and after dark.  While the day was chocked full of fun and the penguins were downright adorable, that isn’t the main part of my story – for today.  By the time penguins came in and everyone got their full enjoyment stalking the little creatures, the tour group was getting ready to drive back to the city by 9:30pm.

The guide was a 20 something guy with a black cap and an pseudo enthusiastic attitude that said ‘I like you guys because I’m getting paid but I hate this late night gig where I could be kicking back with my mates and drinking a few beers instead.’ I mean yes, tour groups are uncool.  Actually they’re checking out the flabby back side of uncool with envy; they scream tourist and practically ask to be subjected to commercialism at least fifty times throughout the day, not to mention putting up with your co-travelers where you always get that one person who wants to be tour guide and tell everyone, everything they don’t actually know.  On the flip side, tour groups also bring together such a variety of people from all over the world that there really could be a tour group to tour the tour group.  So if you’ve already weighed your options and have decided a tour group is the way to go, you pay all that money to stick out like a sore thumb and take a few thousand pictures then you want an enthusiastic guide that can tell you a few interesting tidbits.

Now, honestly I wasn’t sure exactly how the whole overnight thing was going to work and the more I talked to the others I thought maybe I joined the wrong tour and there was no overnight stay. So I approached the laissez-faire guide and ask about the situation around 3 in the afternoon.

Him: Oh yeah! That’s right, I’m not sure, let me look at my papers.

Me: Okay cool.

Him: Yeah so actually after this I’ll be taking you to the hostel

Me: [I nod contemplatively] Really? I thought I signed up to go the penguins today

Him: Oh right, you’re doing The Prom tomorrow. Okay yeah so after the penguin I’ll drop you off at the hostel.

Me: Thanks

His lack of information left me feeling weary, but I got on with the rest of day quite well.  As we’re getting started on the drive back to the city, I have my fingers crossed that he would remember to drop me off.  His announcements pre-departure that night included no mention of that portion, so I was concerned.  I would be staying on the island for the night, and as we neared bridge that would lead off the island I contemplated saying something, but I decided to wait until we were off the island, I didn’t want insult him. Although based on the day’s events I wouldn’t put it past him to forget.

[Because it’s kind of a long story I broke it up.  I’m sure every reader will be absolutely nail-biting in anticipation as they wait- will he remember?  If you aren’t, I understand, but I will still be posting Part II in a couple days.  Cheers] 

Taking the Bus

Published 10 March 2012 by Miss Dilly

I enjoy taking the bus, it’s nothing less than live theatre, packed with action, drama, a few laughs and involves the audience. The entire bus experience starts with the walk to your bus stop.  On this occasion it was a Saturday morning in Seattle.  With my friend who was the one who knew the bus system we walked to the stop in crisp weather.  We had to side step a disheveled couple that appeared to be holding hands instead of strategically separating to make use all four arms to carry the weighty grocery bags. Some people like to live on the edge.  I also choose to believe they were holding hands as a front act like everything’s fine after just fighting over which can of peas his mother actually likes better (I’m sure she reminded him of the last Pea Incident, where they still have to tell their friends that the stain was from the dog which they don’t have any more for some reason unknown to their friends).  So we’re a couple minutes early to the stop, we’re waiting with a college looking guy with a classic literary book that he looks like he probably uses to hide his cellphone while he checks facebook in the library and an older woman going through her mammoth handbag looking for a bobby pin, I’m sure.

I get out my quarters, since I was only visiting Seattle for the weekend I had to pay the old fashion way, I’d even get a transfer that I’d have to keep track of for the entire day.  I was counting out my money and doing a little self pep talk because my last experience on the bus in Seattle went something like this:

I start putting in quarters, but am unsure how much it actually costs to ride the bus. My two friends with their savvy swipe cards had already walked to the back of the bus.  So I look up at the bus driver, he’s already annoyed that I am paying with quarters instead of swiping a card.  There is a shuffle of feet behind me and a middle aged man uncomfortably watching me from the front row seat.  It appears that he has a standing dibs on the spot and rides the bus from the first stop to the last.  I smile look friendly as possible and say “how much is a ticket? I’m a student?” When in doubt I always throw in the student bit, it’s some kind of apology to society. That I obviously just don’t know what I’m doing yet and probably just drink too much on the weekend thought it would be way hipster to pay with something called cash. And despite the blatant stereotyping, one can really get some attitude out in the world and by admitting to being a student you somehow admit that you’re not a full-fledged citizen yet, so it’s okay.  Obviously it’s a load of bull and maybe a slight exaggeration to the average joe, but I have had instances of success for claiming my student-ship and receive a knowing resolution expression on the face I tell.  So I can use the stereotype to my advantage, when need be. Unfortunately that was not the case for today, the bus driver literally said nothing to me.  He looked at me narrowed his eyes and gripped the steering wheel until he looked like he should start talking to someone named Marty, his liger copilot, instead he grunted and nodded towards the coin slot.  I put in all the quarters I had, took the transfer and dashed to the back of the bus.  I gave my friends dirty looks and said how could you ditch me back there, I was nearly mauled by his liger! I put in $2.25 and later I find out my ticket should have only been $1.25, as a student.  Okay a dollar may not seem like much, but to a poor, fake hipster, not actually drunk student who could use that dollar to actually buy a day old scone it was a big deal.  I was resolved not to let this happen again- I had considered going to the group therapy meeting for the victims of Seattle Bus Bullying held downtown once a week, but thought I’d brave the scene once more to right this wrong, like a true city rat.  And that’s where this fine Saturday morning bus ride comes in.

Yes, this is me as I boarded the bus

The bus pulls up. I do the first step right, hold my ground as some young bouncy women walks up and wants to get on in front of me.  Somehow (and by that I mean I actually didn’t really hold my ground against the pushy public) my friend and I get separated, she looks back and I reach out, but we’re just too many smelly bus-riders away from each other, she had to go on without me.  It was better this way, I had to complete my quest alone.  I step up to the plate.  I look at the coin feeder, don’t put any money, look up at the bus driver without smiling and attempt to have a look in my eye that says ‘I’ve battled your kind before and I’m not afraid’ (which may have come off more like ‘the crap doughnut I didn’t have this morning isn’t settling well with me’) and said how much is a ticket for a student? He replies with a frog in his throat ‘a dollar twenty-five’ and not a word more. I put in my quarters and started to walk to the back of the bus, in which I could only imagine was slow-motion, until the beautiful victory scene was broken by a grunt coming from my nemesis and I turn around quick (should never have your back to the enemy) and see my transfer waving like a truce flag.  Oops, I back up, bumping into the passenger trying to get on behind me. I didn’t want to be soft, the legendary stories don’t normally end with a smile and a thanks, but then again legends don’t normally have to get back on the next day and trust their lives in the hands of highly irritable middle aged men driving the population of tomorrow.