Today was my boss Jack’s first day back from vacation. (So of course I was 45 minutes late to work instead of my usual 15 – it’s cause I’m classy.) I alternately love and am extremely harassed by the days when he’s just gotten back after a long absence. Things get done when Jack is around; orders get placed, meetings are had, professors who have been dodging us for weeks suddenly misplace their resistance to returning emails and the floodgates of interview and revision information open once again.
On the other hand: after two weeks of listlessly surfing the internet all day, I now have four hours to remind my boss how useful and productive I am before hopping on a bus and making history. Three and a quarter hours, actually – my usual brand of punctuality is not serving me particularly well today.
I spent most of the day running around like a chicken with its head cut off, breaking to eat a fifteen minute lunch, then lining everything up, putting on my cold weather armor, leaving the building before running back to cram an oversized set of headphones into my purse in anticipation of the Pandora on the Bolt bus’ internetwork, and hopping on the Red Line to South Station.
When I arrive in line for my first bus, to New York, a slim, angry man who emanates militaristic psychosis starts yelling about how people waiting for the 3 o’clock bus need to step back! Step back! This is the line for the 2:30 bus only! Not being particularly drawn to rage, I step aside and avert my eyes – bad move, as this gives him the opportunity to give me the full up and down not once, but twice (peripheral vision is both a blessing and a curse – people are frequently disgusting in the margins when they think they can’t be seen), then step up and start trying to flirt. After an awkward, why are you touching me? And now? And have you noticed that your hand is still on my arm? exchange, I board the bus, dismayed to find that he is in fact my driver, and then we’re off.
I’m happy to be leaving Boston. It was a little sad to pack up my apartment this morning; I always miss it when I have to go away. I feel like it’s a person I’m neglecting ; after all, I greet it every evening when I come home from work. (“Hello, apartment!” I’m lucky my nearer neighbors are not unduly prone to passing judgment, or they’d have had me committed around November.) But the weather, and the routine, and the sense of motion rather than movement in my life – flailing, to be precise – mean that getting on this bus and going to An Event is breathing a little bit of wind back into my sails. As the bus gathers speed and heads south on 93, it feels slightly valedictory, but also like a tentative beginning.