Typically, when Nick goes out of town, I stay at home. Home meaning my place in DC.
I temporarily revel in my old life. I grab a beer with friends in the neighborhood, I walk home, I roll out of bed late late and still get to work on time. Walking. It feels good to be back in my old routine.
I had a horrible driving commute up the 5 in San Diego. I've commuted in from Virginia by Metro. It's just that finally I set up a city life for myself, one I really like, with lots of walking, friends nearby, and no driving. And then went and fell for someone who lives in Virginia.
Although I suppose he could live in Alabama. That would definitely be worse.
But then I stop and think, honestly, would I fall for someone who lives in Alabama, deeper South than I will ever be willing to live? And then I have to think, well, yes, if he's The One of my fewer-than-26 ever possible in my entire life, I do realize geography is not necessarily kind.
Anyway, I digress. Maybe more than usual. I superdigress. Or megadigress. Maybe I megress.
So living across the river is not my dream, although Nick loves it. He loves crossing the water at night, putting physical distance between work and home. Me, I love my city life, love walking to everything, love never having to drive. We will head back in this direction. But for a while, Virginia is where we are.
And of course I want to spend as much time together, so if he's home one night but leaving early in the morning, I'll stay over. I've learned I can take a very convenient bus to work. I've done it twice so far.
Being me, I'm all, "I took the bus. From Virginia."
I say this in the way someone might say, "I got a rash. From a one-night stand."
Which makes no sense, because I have been on some of the most horrendous buses you can imagine. And I don't mean DC buses, although I have been on plenty, and they can be atrocious. My lovely friend Jen was once thoroughly and deliberately urinated on by a homeless man on the 36 bus going up Wisconsin.
I've been on a multitude of buses with large bags of grain that you had to climb over because they filled the aisle, not to mention chickens and other small farm animals. Honestly. Buses with the squealiest brakes you can imagine, and the only good thing is that you know that they still have brakes.
I've been on bus trips where I was sure I was going to die.
Maude and I once rode on the roof of a bus in Ecuador. Because they drive like maniacs, and the mountain rodes are scary, and you can look down, past the eroding side of the road, past the plethora of crosses erected to commemorate deaths in that particular spot, down to your vast potential death, should the driver not successfully pass that guy he's really trying to pass uphill on a blind curve. While chatting with his girlfriend. Who is practically sitting on his lap.
So we rode on the roof on the side closest to the mountain, figuring, worst case scenario, we'd try to jump to safety if the bus went over. We had to sit between grain sacks and hold on to the rails, and we got rained on, but the false sense of control over our destiny was worth it.
So anyway, the bus from Virginia. Is nice. And clean. And punctual. It turns out to be more efficient and more pleasant than taking Metro. And much nicer than DC buses.
Nick gave me his Smart Trip card last time, but this time forgot to leave it for me. So I said I'd just pay cash, and did he know how much the bus cost?
"I think two-fifty."
"Two-fifty for the stupid bus!?" (as in, the stupid bus, because I have to commute from Virginia)
"Yes. You'd think it was a bargain if it drove you to Mensa headquarters though, right?"
At this I have to laugh at myself. Who do I think I am? Seriously.
And so I ask, "What are you wearing?"