Awkward Encounters on the 197

16 Dec

Now, it’s really no secret that my feelings for New Jersey Transit are questionable at best. However, the past few weeks have been surprisingly pleasant, probably because not too many people are commuting into the city at 11:00 at night. Plus, the bus drivers are usually on time, the best seats usually empty, and the trip relatively painless. So I was actually starting to feel some fondness for my little nightly bus ride and the in-depth conversations I was having with the driver: Me: Hi. Her: Hi.

Riveting. Say what you will, but this worked out fine for me. Maybe I’m being anti-social, but I just don’t have a desire to befriend my bus driver. But of course, all good (mediocre) things must come to an end. Apparently, she had other ideas on the trajectory of our relationship, because night after night, little tidbits of curiosity began to factor into our pleasantries.


Me: Hi. Her: Where do you work in the mall? Me: O, I don’t work at the mall. I work in the city, an overnight shift. Can you get this bus rolling please?


Me: Hi. Her: How do you get to this parking lot at night? Does someone drive you? Me: I have a car. It’s 11:01. Let’s shove off.

This should have been a sign of our relationship souring, because as an employee of New Jersey Transit, I think she was getting the sense that maybe I’m stiffing her company a bit. Which I am.


Me: Hi. Her: You’re not allowed to park in this lot overnight, you know. Have you ever gotten a ticket? Cops are around here all the time. Me: No I haven’t. Her: It’s only $25 to park here a month you know!

So now my bus driver and I aren’t friends anymore, mostly because she became a bit of a bitch. It’s not really my fault that I’m the cheapest person I know and would rather walk half a mile in the frigid temps than pay an extra fee for parking. It’s my mother’s. And the walks are good for the lungs!

Of course, she’s been my bus driver EVERY NIGHT since. Doesn’t this woman ever take a break? Our conversations have been relegated back to our original exchange, except I now have a feeling I’m going to be arrested by the NJ Transit police. If she asks what kind of car I have, it’s a red Camry. Hear that everyone? A red Camry.


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