Wednesday, July 03, 2002

i have this love-hate relationship, see.

each of us has his role, and for most of the time, we enjoy mutual happiness. on a good day, i smile and watch the sky, thankful that he's helping me accelerate faster toward my intentions, my destinations, my hopes and sorrows. however, often i fear that i'm becoming a little too dependent on the relationship. he serves me so well, taking me places that i never thought possible, sending little vibrations down my spine, kneeling at my feet when necessary. but when i need his help most, i can't find him at all. i wait and wait, perspiring with nervousness, pacing here and there, tempted to leave the scene but inexplicably tied by a sense of loyalty and hopeful anticipation. when i finally see him come into view, i'm torn between sobbing with thankful tears and scowling at his oblivious disregard. i get this sensation almost all the time. it's like a rollercoaster, my emotional state, up and down, fluctuating between waiting and wanting. some may deem this relationship unhealthy, but i don't really have too much choice in the matter.

yes, MBTA, you have broken my heart too many times.

it's not always been much of an issue, but now that i'm jet-setting all over boston and cambridge without the aid of a car, i'm wholly dependent on the public transportation system. the subway purrs, the bus roars, and i am the queen. isn't that the way it should work? on monday evening, i waited at the #1 bus stop for literally, LITERALLY an hour. it was 10pm and i hadn't eaten dinner yet; i was on my way to a friend's to cook calzones in her kitchen, and here i stood listless beside a little metal stick displaying an apparently incorrect time schedule, holding dough and mushrooms in my hands, stomach rumbling, hair askew, nerves unraveling, eyes tiring. i fume and pace, waiting for an indefinite amount of time, feeling hurt as to be snubbed by a motorized hunk of wheeled metal after giving all my faith (and money) into the management of the bus system. it's infuriating to stand still while watching buses coming in the opposite direction, one, two, three, four times. right when i thought my gastric juices were going to wake up the entire city, i started heading for the subway stop a few blocks away. playing right along with the rules of irony, i saw the bus coming down the road as i was almost at the T. watch christine run back to the bus stop, half grateful, half livid. well, maybe not exactly half.

this morning was the same thing, except move the setting to harvard square, switch to the #69 bus, and it was in the disarming, soul-swallowing heat. how can they get away with this? oh yes, there is no other competition. yay, subsidized city transportation! i have a feeling that my college-bound kids will still see the plastic orange webbing around the horrid construction at park street station. i understand that improving the MBTA, it being such a central aspect of boston, is difficult, but when its flaws are affecting more and more people...

so anyway, that's when i decided it would be awesome to see the future. not for choosing winning lottery numbers, or seeing if i'll be successful in life, but for purely practical reasons. we get torn in situations when we're scared of making a choice and regretting not taking the alternative. in a literal sense, i wait at the bus stop, constantly debating on whether i should keep waiting, or just give up and take the subway. i sway back and forth, thinking that whatever choice i make, fate will swing the pendulum out from beneath my feet and it'll take me twice as long to get to my destination. it's sort of like the "hug a tree" principle. so i remain, waiting endlessly, allowing a passive decision to seep into my skin merely due to uncertainty. but this isn't even "fun uncertainty"; daring odds make risky ventures so rewarding. no, cheap uncertainty is just a stupid, meaningless unknown. i think back to harry potter and his magical map that shows the layout of the castle and dynamically indicates where everyone is and where they're going. if only i could get my hands on something that robust and marvelous. :) will we ever be able to have that sort of perception? to escape our human capabilities for a time and be able to control much more than we are able? or are we stuck forever in a tragic loop, waiting at the scheduled stop, peering once again down the lit street and yet seeing no bus in sight?

so you remain on the sidewalk. it'll have to come eventually, you tell yourself. just keep waiting.

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