Saturday, September 30, 2006

Bus driver blinds female passenger

Do you love public transit? I do.

I don’t love the convenience of living near a Skytrain station… I don’t love the fact that it’s way cheaper than parking downtown… I don’t even love that I can feel good about not adding more CO2 to the atmosphere.

Those are all good things, but not what I love about taking transit.

What I love about riding the bus and Skytrain are all the kooky people I get to see. People who would never find themselves in my car.

Take last night. I was on a bus on Broadway, heading home from a meditation class. Feeling… calm. Breathing… deeply. Accepting… nonjudgmentally.

I sat down beside a young woman. I’d guess she was in her mid-twenties. She was very cute. Long brown hair. Beautiful skin. And a bag of make-up as big as loaf of Wonderbread.

When I sat down, she was Nature Girl. Over the course of the 20-minute ride, I watched her, (from the corner of my eye…no, I did not stare!), transform into Glam Girl. An amazing feat to me, the girl in high school who never learned how to put on more than eye liner and tinted lip balm (strawberry flavour, of course... it was the early '80s!).

What was most… shocking, I guess… was the process she used to get her mascara right. She put it on with a wand and then used a safety pin to separate the lashes… while the bus was moving… a safety pin next to her eyes… bus starting and stopping… safety pin just a hair away from tearing her cornea from her eyeball. Don’t you think that’s a bit too much faith in the bus driver?

Now, I’m not an overly cautious kind of person. I picked up two hitchhikers today on the way to Squamish… I spent five weeks this year, working in a country that’s engaged in civil war (bombs, kidnappings, the works)… Ihave gone out with men I met on the Internet.

Clearly, I am comfortable with risk. But a safety pin near an eyeball on a moving bus?? Crossed my line of comfort, in a BIG way.

I sat, post-meditation-acceptance-of-the-world quickly evaporating, wondering things like,

If she’s meeting a guy tonight, and they spend the night together, won’t her eyes be covered in black smudge by morning? Or does she have special little envelopes to wrap around her lashes, to keep them tidy while she sleeps?

If she’s hoping to meet a guy tonight, and she doesn’t, how disappointed will she be at all the effort she’s just made to separate every freaking eye lash from the one next to it? Will she rethink her approach and go out with the “clumpy lash look” tomorrow night?

And then I wondered why men don’t wear make-up. When I was in my twenties, many of my male friends wore eyeliner and lip-liner… Goths in the mid-80s, they were. I thought they looked silly. But then they thought I looked silly with my semi-Mohawk and my pet rats, Tara and Pogo, who lived inside my t-shirt.

Yeah… twenties was a silly age. Forties is good. Although it would be better with someone to ride the bus with, making up silly (but nice) stories about the lives of other riders...