I had an eye appointment at 2:45 yesterday. My husband dropped me off because my eyes were being dilated and I wouldn’t be able to drive myself home. The plan was for him to take me to my appointment, pick G up from school, take him home for a snack and to change into his gi for karate, then bring him to pick me up at 4:00 so we could all get to his karate class by 4:30.
At 3:40, after a half hour with the doctor who did my prescription check and dilated my eyes, my appointment was not even close to being done. I called Russ and told him to just get me after karate class at 5:30. Although I was not excited about the prospect of sitting at the retirement home disguised as a doctor’s office for another two hours, I saw no other choice.
At 3:45 a nurse came to the waiting room to tell me my doctor was running 40 minutes behind, but I could see another doctor immediately. I opted for choice 2 and was out of there in 15 minutes. I’m not sure this doctor knew what he was doing, but that’s beside the point. I wanted to see Garrett in his gi. With my ever-blurring eyes (from the dilation), I mapped the bus route from the doctor to karate on my iphone. I had to find shade to see the screen. I would have to walk nearly a mile to the bus stop and take the bus 2 miles to karate. The bus would be there at 4:14. It was 4:05.
For some reason, I was now DETERMINED to make it to karate before it started. As far as G-Man knew, I wasn’t going to be there at all… But I was. Oh, I was.
I started walking at a fast clip, then did my famous Olympic-Speed-Walk, then began jogging. By the time I got to the bus stop I was sweaty and probably did not look too hot in my glasses with the dark, plastic inserts to protect my insane, headache-inducing, dilated eyes from the glaring, painful, headache-inducing sun. As I came upon the bus bench I saw a huge trench between me and the street. There was construction going on here, and there were the orange cones to prove it. I looked to my left and saw my bus pulling away from the curb across the street. I raised my arm as if to say, “BUT I JUST RAN HERE!” And the bus stopped. In the middle of the street.
As I hopped inside, the driver looked at me in disgust. Was it my sweaty hair? My pathetic excuse for sun glasses? “Do you really think a bus would be stopping here with all this construction going on?” He didn’t say it. He seethed it. I said, “I’m really sorry. I didn’t know where the other stop was.” No response. “How much is it?” “A dollar fifty”, he said with pity in his voice.
With that, I put my two dollars in the slot, (I had no change), and sat down. I was surprised at how clean the bus was. It’s been a while since I’ve been on one in the middle of the day. I took one recently to get on the train downtown, but that bus was crowded and dark and every seat was taken, so I really have no idea how clean it was.
I looked around and tried to act like I take the bus all the time. I put my hair back in a ponytail to try to stop sweating. I pushed my glasses up onto the bridge of my nose so the inserts would stop sliding out. I felt super cool.
About 12 minutes later, I hit the STOP button on the pole next to my seat. (I learned from watching others). At the next stop, the doors opened directly in front of G’s karate class. I walked in just in time to take him to pee before he would bow to his sensei. And I felt proud. I had braved the tough streets of the San Fernando Valley half-blinded by eye drops and sunshine, I had weathered the anger of a weathered bus driver, and I had made it to see my son punch things in his new class. His smile when he saw me was enough for me to forget how horrible I must have looked.
Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? If I have somewhere to be for my son, BY GOD I’ll get there!!
You can start your applause now. Oh, don’t stand! That’s too much.