A long time ago, I had a friend who found that after a promotion, he was being moved to an office in front of which was a cube he had occupied many years earlier in a far lowlier position. Things had gotten rearranged since then, so it wasn’t like he had his former boss’ job, but it still amazed him (and me as well). It was a marker of sorts.
I am reminded of this sometimes while driving in Baltimore when I find myself stuck in back of vehicles in which I formerly travelled in my car-free days. Sometimes it’s the Blue Jay Shuttle, which is an on demand service that took me to places like the Giant in the Rotunda in Hampden, the nearest real grocery store. Or the Hopkins Shuttle which used to be a school bus but is now far sleeker and goes to better places than it did when I was using it. Sometimes, I’ll see the #3 bus in my rearview mirror, and that’s the bus I used to wait endlessly for to go to work. It’s hard to describe how lost and helpless you are when you depend on public transportation in Baltimore. How isolated and frustrated and dependent you are. As weird as it is to be back, it’s a hundred times more so to be back with a car.
This weekend, I had a bit of the old way, as I was mostly trapped at my house by constant bad weather and slick roads. I’m too inexperienced to really want to drive on ice and snow when there’s nowhere real I need to go. It was disappointing. I like to drive around and shop and explore. But I mostly stayed home. I’m too far from the bus these days.
When I finally did get to Safeway, this song came on my shuffle, which is all 80’s music, because it’s my old iPod Touch that I just leave in the car attached to the USB. It’s by the Higsons and there’s this line, “I think it’s sick the way you talk to your car! When you won’t ever talk to me.” It came on just as I was pulling in to park, and I thought, “well, duh.”