On Fridays I stay a little late at work, then I take the bus over to the University District where I meet Papa Seed at a favorite newsstand. I almost always get to the bus stop in time to see a bus drive past me, and today was no exception. I had a voice mail from the phone company so I used the time waiting for the next bus to call back and find out why I was getting a "courtesy call". Funny story - turns out we owe over $600! On a phone bill. I guess Papa Seed didn't pay last month - we had a lot going on, and this month we had already managed to do 400 bucks worth of damage. How 200 bucks of damage is even possible, I do not know - but 400 in a month?
We pay for cell phones for the two Dads, the son, and two of the GreatNeffs. The teenagers now all have unlimited texting, and almost all of what they do is text, although the youngest of the three just got unlimited a week ago, a week after getting his first girlfriend. Those are related fun facts. Mancub texts his girlfriend about once every 25 seconds, but rarely calls her and usually that is for a brief time or at night when it is free. I hate talking on the phone, and only do so when I know it is Mancub or Papa Seed, both of whom are on my "plan" so it shouldn't cost me a thing.
I called Papa Seed from the bus stop in a bit of shock and panic. He went ahead and paid the bill and said "we" (which I assume doesn't include me, since I hate talking on the phone and last night even ordered pizza on line to avoid a human voice) will need to be more strict about phone usage.
My Dad would be rolling over in his grave if he knew there was such a thing as a $600 phone bill.
Shaking, I got on the bus and sat near the front and got one of those talkative bus drivers I normally don't mind, but today I wasn't quite in the mood. He complained about the things bus drivers usually complain about - people trying to pay their fare at the wrong time, bridges being up, being off schedule. He wished everyone a good weekend, which is something you don't get in other cities. I'm not such a curmudgeon that I don't find this very warm and comforting. I like that we acknowledge one another here. Humans should do that.
I bought my stack - a little Utne, a little New Yorker, a little Mother Jones, all of which I used to subscribe to and should again, and all of which I tossed out years of back issues during the move. Also Film Comment which I buy every issue, but for some reason have no interest in subscribing to, nor did I toss out the back issues of that one (yet, it could happen). The new person behind the coffee counter messed up our order and offered to remake Papa Seed's drink, but he politely told her it was okay and it was Friday and everyone was a little tired. I didn't realize that she also messed up my Friday afternoon cappuccino, quite possibly the coffee beverage I most look forward to all week. It wasn't until we got in the van that I realized it was some kind of mild latte, heavy as a brick and nothing more than a slightly bitter milk drink. To top it off, the snickerdoodle was hard. Life is to short to ever eat a hard cookie.
Then we made our way to the highway that was backed up as far as the naked eye could see. We joined in the fun. As the time went by, and our empty gas tank set off a little red light, we made it to the stadiums where apparently some kind of sports event was happening. That is why traffic was backed up so much. Nothing says "Peaceful" like being stuck in a sports traffic jam, and nothing pleases Papa Seed and me quite as much as knowing that a group of overpaid sports fans can tie up the entire city to go watch some adults play a game because the city thinks the best place to build not one, but two stadiums is right downtown. And let the fun begin during rush hour. On a Friday afternoon. Of course if people take to the streets for 30 minutes to protest against a war, or to speak out against injustice or for the environment, every editorial page for miles will be full of righteous anger against these thoughtless hoodlums hijacking the right to get to the gym in a timely manner after work. But a game where people toss cash at the filthy rich? Oh Please Sir, make the city come to a complete stop now!
I introduced myself to another neighbor when we got home, but she seemed a little confused as to why I was doing that, until she said "OH, you live over there now!", but she didn't offer her name and said I'd probably end up telling her mine again because she didn't remember names.
The house sure is nice to come home to, however.