I am not sure why I haven’t written about one of my most embarrassing moments ever until now, but my family insists this is one of the funniest things that ever happened to me, so I’m going to roll with it.
During my 2 year stint off the road I depended largely upon the CATS Village Rider system. It was always on time (which I have yet to figure out given the traffic around here) and more importantly, it could get me to and fro independently. Independence was something I treasured. I got a manicure every other week in a neighboring town, and boarded the bus outside my neighborhood and grabbed the bus home near a grocery store. Because of drop off time and pick up time, I always had a bit of free time before my manicure as well as after.
With beautifully polished nails, noticing a sunny afternoon, I sported my sunglasses and I headed to the grocery to grab some lunch to go. I perched myself on the roadside bench to eat my sandwich and wait for my ride home. In general, people don’t really talk at the stop nor on the bus. We usually have headphones in, riders are reading, texting or whatever we pretend to do so no one will engage us in uncomfortable conversation. Occasionally a rider talks on their phone but everyone stares since we can hear everything the rider is saying and that is just weird. Over the years of riding the city bus I have seen it all and I don’t think much about why the person is using city transit. I don’t assume they can’t afford a car, can’t afford insurance, don’t have a license, blah blah blah. You get it. I had a family, a car and insurance but my health didn’t allow me to drive so I didn’t judge others…usually. I’m normal, or as close to it as possible, so I would never expect others to look at me. I thought there was an unwritten rule about riding the bus.
This day felt different from the minute I pulled out my sandwich at the bus stop. I tried to mind my own business, but somehow I felt like people were watching me. I have a problem. My face tells my innermost thoughts. My eyes tell it all. When I saw people looking at me strangely, my instinct was to roll my eyes, eat my lunch or catch up on Facebook. We boarded the bus and I sat close to the front. Still in my own world of focusing on the road and letting time pass, I couldn’t help but notice people were looking at me for an extended length of time. I glanced back, likely for longer than I should have, but I remained sheltered by my sunglasses that hid my insecurity. The bus neared my stop, I grabbed the wire to signal the stop and got of the bus as quickly as possible. I walked home, threw my keys and sunglasses in my pocketbook and life was great.
A couple of days later I headed back out into the sunshine. I reached into my pocketbook to get my sunglasses. Holy moly! One entire lens had come out of my sunglasses! My mind shot back to the bus stop and strange ride home. Glory, glory! I sat at the bus stop eating my lunch and then proceeded to ride the bus home in sunglasses with only one lens! OH MY WORD! The entire day replayed in my mind! I was responding to the strange looks I was getting thinking I was normal, but everyone else was right thinking I was crazy! I tested the lens to make sure I had not lost it completely! How could I spend half a day wearing only one lens? Much to my dismay, I realized it was doable. OH MY! Yep, I sat at a very public bus stop with half a sunglass, is that even a phrase? I road the bus for at least 30 mins making eye expressions with everyone glaring at me. I thought they were crazy and they were staring at ME because it was clear I was crazy! OH MY WORD!
If you see me out and my eyes are red, it is likely because I have been driving and poking myself in the eyes to be sure both eyes are uncovered. When I put on my sunglasses now, I almost always touch both lens to be sure I am as normal as the rest of you. HAHAHA! Don’t laugh at me, just laugh with me. We all have issues, some are just more visible than others.
Copyright © Gatewood Campbell, February 2017