Issue 4 Contents


Commuter's Notebook

Good news to report: I have been liberated from the MBTA. I owe it all to perseverence and the willingness to take a paycut. I no longer rise at 5:45 nor do I have to go to assachusettes. I don't have to spend $138 to ride a train 3 hours a day. Now I spend $16 on a Providence bus pass. La-La, or so I hoped.

The new commuting scenario is very simple. I grab a bus over the east side that brings me right into Kennedy Plaza. The bus is always reasonably full and the passengers, as on the train, are fairly unaccomodating. You basically have to just point your butt insisitently at their stuff until they move it. Not much interaction there, no eye contact, I like it. I don't want to talk to anyone, I just prefer to sit.

I should mention that the buses come air conditioned and free on those 95 degree days so Providence citizens can leave their cars at home in an effort to be Ozone Friendly. I don't think anyone actually does this; would you walk outside on a boiling day and decide to go stand on the street and wait for a bus instead of jacking up the car's air conditioning or cranking down the windows and doing 70? I'd jump in the car. But I don't have a car. Result: those of us who buy a monthly pass don't benefit from the free day. The ozone takes the same beating. Some random fucknut gets to ride for free.

Kennedy Plaza is filled with the City Year People every morning. They line up about 7 rows of 15 kids [I simply cannot tell how old anyone there is] wearing identical clothes and shouting words of enpowerment while doing jumping jacks in unison. The other day it was cloudy, and they were chanting "Rain, Rain Go Away" and doing arm circles. They freak me out.

You can feel the crackdown on tobacco: kids all over the streets are bumming cigarettes from working people such as myself. I foolishly answered one request [only 'cause the kid got me pack open and I was so caught of guard I couldn't think of anything but the 'none left' lie I usually dish to the brats.] Instead of saying 'thank you,' the receiver of my grace decided it was a good time to hit me up for some cash. Suffice it to say I learned my lesson.

I walk by a porno book store and its greasy owner takes the trash out about the same time each morning. The shop seems to generate a lot of trash. He has really nappy clothes and long greasy thin hair weakly tied back. His hair makes me gag when I think about it. I always look away when we cross paths. I don't like it when he looks at me.

All that aside, the commute is considerably less distressing than the old trek to Cambridge. It's cheaper, shorter, occurs at more reasonable hours of the day, and I'm not yet aware of any stalkers. Will keep you posted.