Monday, January 18, 2010

Bus to Boston

Gray but dry quickly turned to gray and wet. Seems like a replay of the gray day from the last time I took the bus to Boston with the added ingredient of rain. According to weather.com, it was supposed to start raining around 3pm today. I wasn't happy about that as my bus was to leave at 3:30pm. However, the rain started around noon instead. We didn't have to wait in the rain too long. Our boarding began at 3:18pm. Thanks to a broken down Bolt Bus, we boarded a Peter Pan bus. I had hoped for a double seat to myself. I was not disappointed. Our bus pulled away from the curb at 3:30pm on the dot. Our bus driver tried out his sense of humor on us by calling our attention to the fact that we were not on a big black and orange Bolt Bus. I felt like the only one to find it amusing.

It never ceases to amaze me how long it actually takes to get off the island. Ask the folks on "Lost," they know what I'm talkin' about. It took nearly 30 minutes just to get to the bridge to take us toward Boston. Finally I could see the sign for I-278 E toward New Haven. I knew the further we got out of the City the thinner the traffic would become. I wasn't really on any deadline for arrival. It just happened that the Golden Globes were to begin at 8pm and Neal and Stephen were going to wait for me to start watching. Oh hell, I'm excited about the Globes and wanna get there to start watching them myself. Mostly, I was anticipating the Prosecco that Neal had chilling. Secondly, I was excited to see if Meryl Streep was going to win for "Julie & Julia" and if Mo'Nique, a front runner for Supporting Actress for "Precious" would show up, win, be gracious. I was also excited to see if Sandra Bullock walked home a winner for "The Blind Side." Until then I had to turn back to my reading and keep anticipating.

Getting on the interstate of course means nothing. Yes, we were on our way, but we were also covering ground only slightly faster than a turtle. It's that thing about interstates. Traffic is a bitch and all you can do is roll with it no matter how slow the roll goes. "Like sands through the hourglass..." You get the picture.

It wasn't very cold, but looking out at the small New England towns as we passed, they looked positively chilled. The gray, rained-soaked evening made everything look bleak. Some of the houses had a small spattering of snow around their corners, and their shrubbery, which added to the chill one could almost feel inside the bus. The mind is so interesting. Knowing it's not freezing outside, but seeing an image that looks cold makes us remember how cold feels and therefore think it must feel that way now.

Life in the fast lane took another slow down as we hit the hour-and-a-half mark. We crawled slowly up the right lane. The overhead sign on the interstate said "accident ahead." I wondered where. I wondered why we don't watch what we're doing. As we approached another informational sign on the interstate it alerted us to the fact that our lane was closed due to the accident. Excellent. We all know how friendly people can be letting others merge into traffic. Wait. Was that bitchy? Okay. Just making sure! As for merging, our bus driver got annoyed finally with the crawl and exited traffic, onto the shoulder. He drove up to the arrow pointing us to the left. Being a rather large metal object on wheels and somewhat intimidating, the little cars let us merge. And just like that we were past the accident and back to time-to-make-up and ground-to-cover speed. I returned to my Vogue and the article about the Queen Mother.

After three hours on the road, we made our 10 minute pit stop. It was a Burger King. We parked along the side, back of the building, however, and I didn't know that. I thought it was one of those large convenience stores with a KY Fry and Pizza Hut inside. I made a run for it in the rain, ready for my eyes to quickly scan the store for something at least a little on the healthy side. Discovering, cold and wet, that it was nothing more than a Burger King made the mad, wet dash not worth it.

Our bus driver placed a DVD into a hidden player before we departed the pit stop. He said this wasn't typical Bolt Bus service. Probably because this wasn't a Bolt Bus and they don't have a DVD player. At least I don't remember them having one. The film choice made for us was "The Bourne Ultimatum." If I cared about the Bourne films I would have seen them in the movie theater. If he had only asked me I could have popped "Julia & Julia" or HBO's "Grey Gardens" or perhaps a disc from "Lost" season 5 into the player. Alas, I wasn't asked and would probably have been in the minority of those loving my choices save for possibly "Lost." So I just put my ear buds in and turned on the new Norah Jones album.

I don't know what happened, but I looked up from a lost game of BrickBreaker to see that what the wind shield wipers were clearing away was a mix of snow and rain leaning heavier on the snow end of the duo. I kept hearing people on the bus talking about how it was supposed to snow the next day so I had no idea it was going to hit while we were still driving. It's usually colder in Boston than NYC so I guess it made sense that the rain might be snow up there. Traffic seemed to be moving along at a steady clip so I just pushed play on my Adam Lambert album and went back to trying to be oblivious.

I watched the oncoming traffic, blurred, through fogged, rain-streaked windows. I had a ridiculous text conversation with Neal. Ridiculous = funny! I was so cold on the bus that I had to put on my gloves and sock cap. The chill was slowly able to take hold as the heater was not working properly. This was a case where the cold you know it is outside needs no mind trick because the senses feel it inside. My fingers were cold as were my feet and my nose. You could almost have called me Chilly Willy the Penguin.

Our approach to Boston was 15 minutes behind scheduled arrival time. Which had already been pushed by 15 minutes. At this rate I was hoping for South Station by 8:15pm. To my surprise and excitement, I was off the bus, in the station, and on the subway platform by 8:15pm waiting for the train to take me to Neal and Stephen's. It arrived one minute later.

We were only 10 minutes later than the bus driver originally said we'd arrive. Neither rain nor snow nor pit stop could stop our bus. Thank God. The Prosecco was waiting!