You can always tell who has never been here before. They don’t understand the line — either waiting half behind you or barging in front of you to pay. When you get to the counter and the cashier says your order to you before you open your mouth you nod — but you don’t feel like Norm from Cheers, you feel like you’ve become predictable and the sensation is awful. Perhaps you won’t come back for a few days.
There’s a driver who always takes this bus route on Mondays or Wednesdays around noon. He always asks for birthdays, tells jokes or riddles, and tries to get as many smiles as he can from perfect strangers. “Don’t forget to say bye to the person next to you,” he says “tomorrow’s not promised.” Once a man sits across from you and scowls at the newsprint in his hands, mumbling to anyone who will listen that “this guy is an asshole.” ”Just drive the bus,” he says to no one. The driver is the kind of person you remember forever, you think. The man is not.
Riding somewhere never takes quite long enough. When you were little you hoped each car ride would last forever and the destination would never come.
The entire time you’re on a subway platform waiting for a train you imagine someone pushing you onto the tracks. You feel the same about cables snapping in an elevator.