This Is a Recording

I thought we were in the middle of a recession?  I thought we were all supposed to be living a little leaner, spending a little wiser.  So why the hell are they wasting my tax dollars?

As I’ve mentioned countless times before, I live just above a bus stop.  That’s pretty exciting when it’s pouring rain or I have a broken bone.  The rest of the time it pretty much blows.

For one thing, the exhaust is ridiculous.  It’s not possible to keep my windows and screens clean.  They cake up with the most delectable dusting of black funk.  I generally keep my windows closed even in nice weather just to keep that nastiness out of the apartment and our lungs.

For another, they’re loud.  That’s a big ‘ol honking hunk of machinery barreling by every seven minutes or so.  And when they kneel…dear God when they kneel.  The noise is horrendous – a high pitched squeal of released pressure.  It kinda reminds me of that whistle you can get from a blade of grass if you line it up just right between your thumbs…but not in a good way.  There’s no nostalgia to sweeten this sound.

You can learn to tune out most of that I suppose.  Hell, we grew up close to an airport, right under one of the approach paths.  I learned very quickly to ignore the sounds of airplanes passing over head.  Even in this post 9/11 world I still barely notice them unless they’re really really low.

In a sick way, the idling bus engines can almost be comforting sometimes.  After returning from the beach and three days of the relentless pounding of the waves, there was a little relief when I heard the rumbling beneath my window.  Then the black puff of exhaust floated up to my window and with it a black cloud descended over my mood.  Boo.  Hiss.  Back to ignoring the buses.

But upon my return from the beach, something was different.  There would be no more ignoring the buses.  Some brainiac decided to use our tax dollars to install external speakers on these bad boys.  Then they recorded an outgoing message to broadcast every single time the buses stop.  “New Jersey Transit bus 126 with service to Hoboken Path terminal.”  Yes folks, each and every time a bus goes by.  Every seven minutes or so.  Every.  Single.  Time.   No matter what hour.  It’s a dream come true I tell you.

Her voice is so grating.  And smug.  And taunting.  And I think I hate her…and her little dog, too.  She haunts my very dreams.  Then again, that could be because she wakes me up every half hour until 2am.  Then she starts it all back up around 6am.  She never gets tired it seems.  Always the same measured and maniacal tone, “New Jersey Transit Bus 126 with service to Hoboken Path Terminal.”  What she’s really saying is, “You’re never leaving, Elly.  I’ll taunt you for years to come.  Suck it up, bee-yatch.”  I’m pretty sure this is a conspiracy by New Jersey Transit and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey just to further rattle my nuked little brain.


I’m ready to shove an ice pick under my toe nails.  Piercing my eardrums with knitting needles could be a real option.  I wrap my head in pillows in an attempt to escape.  I spend as much time as possible in the park and away from the apartment…but sadly it’s been rainier than an average day in Forks.  I’d even consider putting on a Rod Stewart record just to drown out that crazy mechanical bitch’s voice.  Sadly I haven’t unpacked the speakers yet though so clearly that’s an empty threat.  That and there’s no frickin’ way I own a record from the Antichrist.

So this is where my tax dollars go, eh?  No improving the roads.  No funding the arts.  No beautification of park lands.  Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you talking buses.  Seriously what douche can’t read the 126 on the side of the bus?  Well, I suppose a blind one.  Well shit, now I’m a monster bitch, aren’t I?  Couldn’t they just do it a little quieter then?  Grumble.