A bus RIDDLE, a buscapade DISSECTED, good work day, dinner & dancing with Robert…

~Wednesday~ Today’s buscapade is a riddle!

You’re driving your car to work in the pouring rain when you see three people on the side of the road at an uncovered bus stop. You recognize one as your best friend waiting to go to work, the second is your perfect lover, someone that if you met you would eventually get married to, and the third is an elderly woman soaked to the bone, shivering and needs to go to the hospital.

The problem is that you only have one extra seat in your car so to whom do you give a ride?

You give your friend the keys, tell him to drive the old woman to the hospital, and wait for the bus with your perfect lover.

Speaking of buscapades, it’s funny about yesterday’s buscapade—I just really enjoyed writing that vignette. I so enjoy the writing process, which I’m going to reflect on a bit. Here’s a little insight into how that “process” plays out for me, using yesterday’s entry as an example:

Rain falls, tempers rise: a buscapade.

[At times this was: “Rains fall, tempers rise” and “Rain falls, temper rises” before I settled on what it is. I still think about whether or not that combination is the best one.]

I woke up to the sound of torrential rain. A quick peek between blind slats at the rippling stream of water running along the pavement of the downhill parking area in front of my townhouse confirmed what I already knew.

[The second sentence changed many, many times. At one time it was “between the slats.” Originally the word “rippling” wasn’t there. At one time, the word “along” was the word “down,” but I didn’t like “down” that close to the word “downhill” further in the sentence. At one time, it was, “…the downhill area that is the parking lot in front of my townhouse.” It took quite a while to get this to where I thought it was both “descriptive” and “concise.”]

By the time I left for the bus stop, the rain had eased up a little, but in my estimate still qualified as “pouring.” This is the first time since I started riding the bus mid-September 2008 that it has rained this hard while I waited at the bus stop. I mused about how funny it kind of is that people walk around with this little piece of portable ceiling over them—mine being the short, black, retractable, trigger-sprung Totes brand.

[(1) Originally, the word “estimate” in the first sentence was “assessment.” (2) At first I didn’t have “it kind of” in that third sentence; that is, it just said, “…how funny it is that…” but I eventually put it back in. It’s still a little clunky reading it, mostly because it’s one of those kind of things that is spoken one way, but written another. And what I’ve done is injected the spoken version into the written version. (3) Those string of adjectives before “Totes” went through a number of changes in terms of choice of them as well as order of them.]

At about the third stop after I got on, this “ceilingless” lady got on who was soaked to the bone marrow. Boarding, she showed a sopped, limp one dollar bill to the driver indicating that she had it, but that she knew it wouldn’t be accepted by the fare machine because it was so wet.

[(1) “Ceilingless” was originally “roofless,” but I wanted an explicit allusion back to “portable ceiling” in the previous paragraph. (2) I added the word “marrow” to the end of that same sentence after contemplating that she was so much more wet than the image that a standard idiom could invoke. (3) The word “sopped” was originally “wet,” but I changed it to “sopped,” because I wanted to use “wet” later on in the sentence.]

She had on a rain poncho, which was glistening wet and totally sticking to her underclothes, and her drenched backpack leaked onto her seat before she sat down—in the seat in front of mine.

[(1) Originally the poncho was just “wet and stuck.” I wanted “glistening” to indicate how shiny it was, and then wanted another 3-syllable word before “sticking” to add a cadence. I also debated much as to whether it should be “…was glistening wet and totally stuck” as opposed to “…was glistening wet and totally sticking.” I’m still not sure it’s correct. (2) The way I indicated that she sat down in the seat in front of me changed a few times. At one point the em dash was a comma, and at one point it said, “into the seat” and “the seat in front of me.“]

The bus driver looked at her in the rear view mirror and asked the wrong question at the wrong time in the wrong tone, “You don’t have another dollar bill?”

[The phrase, “…in the wrong tone,” was added after a couple of re-reads through the whole thing, just before finally publishing it.]


[I pretty much nailed this one, as it’s the one thing I’d written down on the bus in my little pad that I take notes on throughout the day, specifically for my daily blog entry. ]

The bus driver was a little taken aback, but she didn’t respond. I opened my wallet, took out a one, and presenting it to her over the seatback between us said, “Wanna swap me for a dry one?”

[(1) I debated as to whether “seatback” was one word or two, found it to be two, but consciously decided to write it as one. I still think about this aberration. (2) Went back and forth as to whether it should be “…presenting it to her over the seatback between us said…” or “presented it to her over the seatback between us saying…”]

“Thank you. I hope this one will eventually dry,” she said handing me hers and taking mine, and then she walked up to the fare machine to deposit it. “Transfer, please,” she said to the driver so that she’d get the right kind of ticket.

[Debated “…handing me hers…” against “…handing hers to me…”]

Other than all that, the writing came naturally.

So, needless to say, it was a great affirmation to get this comment from my friend Julie, which she actually included in a response to my previous day’s entry answering my question as to whether she had listened to that “Go Ask Your Father” This American Life podcast because of my blog entry or if she had already heard it. Her comment said:

I listened because of your recommendation. 🙂

I loved the story of the sopping wet woman and the bus driver. Priceless.

Thank you, Julie! “Priceless” made all of the above noted “churn” worth it!

I had two work meetings today, both rather enjoyable. One was to talk to one of our organization’s directors to help him provide more information we needed about his unit for an annual report, and the other one was to show someone a website I’d created for him, which he really liked. Woohoo. A professional affirmation.

Robert picked me up at work and we had dinner at the Gumby’s right next to my office. Yummy!

On the way home we parked in a shopping center midway between the grocery store and the Cookout. I ran into the grocery store to buy a sheet cake and Robert ran over to the Cookout and got one banana shake and one caramel shake. At home, we scooped half of each into two other glasses, so we could each have half of the banana one and half of the caramel one.

We spent a little time working on an Indy crossword puzzle, and then took an hour nap before heading to dancing.

We stopped by my office to put the sheet cake I’d bought, which is to celebrate my boss’s birthday tomorrow, in the fridge at work so I wouldn’t have to carry it on the bus in the morning.

As luck would have it, even though it was 8:30 at night, my boss was still in the office. Fortunately, you can get to the room where the fridge is before getting to our offices, so I was able to put it in there without her seeing it.

It was a serendipitous opportunity for Robert to meet Jude.

Dancing was great, great fun tonight. It’s been a long time since Robert has been on a Wednesday night, and one of the dancers, Geromy, brought not only his mother, but his grandmother to the gay bar! Granny Geromy sat on a bench, with her legs spread (she had on pants), and a Budweiser in her hand. I asked her if they’d carded her and she said, “I told them if they did that I’d give ’em a big ole tip,” she retorted.

A little bit later, three other (straight, lady) friends of Geromy arrived, and there were a lot of other patrons in the bar who weren’t regulars, and a lot of them got out on the dance floor for both lessons that Carl taught—the first being a review of Buttons, and the second being Bumpers.

Just a fun, fun night overall!

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