[My mom wrote this before I took over the blog]
Downtown in the ride-free zone, I hop on a bus for the library. The hill from Third to Fourth Avenue is dauntingly steep. If I’m on on the #2 — which stops right there — I’ve learned to get off earlier and walk or grab the first bus heading south on Fifth Avenue.
Today I’m on a bus with one of those mysterious three-digit numbers, which means he’s headed to an outlying area I’ve never heard of.
“Do you stop at Spring or Seneca?” I ask the driver.
“I stop at Spring.” He’s a tall, slim man with glasses, very friendly.
“Well, your sign says express, so I wondered…”
“The word express is a misnomer,” he says. “Downtown everybody’s a local.”
“Misnomer? Did you say misnomer? Are you a moonlighting graduate student?”
He laughs. Earlier he did indeed get a graduate degree in one of the language study areas, but he’s been driving for sixteen years, he tells me. He likes the job. It’s a bad job to hate, he says. You have to like it.
“I’d be a truck driver myself,” I say, “if I were a better driver. But I don’t like driving in the rain, or on bridges or tunnels.”
“Truck driving? Too much time away from home,” he says, and we wave good-by as I get off, right in front of the Fifth Avenue entrance to the library.