I used to worship at the altar of the subway - dimly lit, with plenty of rats and filth, it all seemed so very gothic. But I've made a full conversion and I've been washed in the blood of the No. 42 bus.
Washed in the slush kicked up by the No. 42 bus, actually, to be more accurate. But, you get the idea.
I can't really account for the change, except to say that suddenly the subway seems so limiting and stuffy, even if you do get to ride on actual trains when you take the subway.
But on the big buses, the No. 1, No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 buses, the kind with a fold in the middle, there's a section in the very back where the passengers sit as if on three sofas arranged in a U. The living room, I call it. Let's sit in the living room, I say to the husband whenever we take the No. 2. He hates it when I say that.
Yesterday, we sat in the living room of the No. 2 bus with the policeman, the priest and one of the priest's sisters and another friend - we were on our way home and they, lucky dogs, were on their way to see Eddie Izzard wearing spike heels and eye shadow and rambling gloriously on and on. At least with any luck, he would be wearing the heels and makeup. We had just eaten way too much meat in celebration of the priest's birthday (she's 37, at least I think she's 37) at some steak restaurant, and we were feeling all full of iron and muscle.
As soon as we had taken our seats, congenially facing each other and three total strangers, the friend of the priest said to everyone: "Hi, my name is E. and I'm an alcoholic."
"Hi, E.," we all sang out, especially the strangers.
Who says that Swedes are shy people with no sense of humor?
Hail to the bus. And the bus driver.
The Swedish word for the day is begrepp. It means concept or notion.
- by Francis S.