The Last Seat on the Bus

I ride the bus to work, and I really enjoy it. I get to read, or listen to music, all the while not having to worry about idiots in traffic. It doesn’t really take any longer than driving myself did, and with gas prices these days it’s a hell of a lot cheaper. At last tally, I’m saving myself over $200 a month by riding the bus. But there is one thing that bothers me…

I get on the bus as the main transit center, which means the bus is empty or near empty when I get on. Now, traditional society dictates that since all seats on the bus are in pairs, if you get on the bus and there is an open pair, you sit there before sitting next to someone else. Women are allowed a bit of leeway, it’s okay if they sit next to another woman instead of taking one of an open pair if she doesn’t want to risk sitting next to some random man later on. As the bus drives, we pick up more people, and always by the time we reach the transfer station to the train, the bus is full.

In the city of Atlanta, we have a large population of blacks and hispanics. So, its not unreasonable to believe that often I’m the only white guy on the bus. Sometimes there are a couple of white women, but not always. As a white guy, I also have a shaved head. My hair line is receeding, and I look awful when I grow my hair out, so I shave it because it looks better. I have a goatee. So, I’m a white guy with a shaved head and a goatee. I’m also a nice guy… I’ve got no visible tatoos, no scars, and I wear business casual clothes (polo shirt and khaki pants most days). I sit and read my book (science fiction, fantasy, classic literature, mysteries, the odd other book here and there) or I have my headphones on listening to MP3s from by PDA phone. Every single day, the seat next to me is the last one to get filled.

I don’t know what’s up… should I feel slighted? Discriminated against? I don’t stink, I’ve asked. And I’m not wearing any internationally recognized symbols of hatred. I’m just a guy reading a book and/or listening to music. And yet, once it gets down to the last seat available, the next person to get on the bus will look around, scanning the entire bus looking for a chance hidden seat, before finally fixing their face in a downtrodden look of defeat and resign themselves to being forced to sit next to me.

I just don’t get it.

The Sound of Silence

The one thing that sucks most about having your car stereo stolen is driving without music for several days until you get it replaced. I’ve never been one much for keeping quiet when I drive… singing or talking, there’s usually something being said or at least thoughts rumbling around in my head waiting for the right moment to come out. But music always fills in the empty spaces. Driving now is creepy… when I stop talking to myself, I can hear the tires on the road with perfect clarity. I can hear the changing sounds of cars switching lanes. I hear the plink of little bits of road debris plinking in the wheel wells.

Silence has always kinda creeped me out. When people ask that question, “If you had to choose, would you rather be deaf or blind?” I agonize on it for a long time, but ultimately come down on the side of blind. I think I could handle not being able to see… but living it a world of silence, I think that would be too much for me.

Anyway, my replacement stereo arrived today by UPS, so I shouldn’t have to put up with a music-less drive for much longer.

Classical Metal

From the first time I heard them I was a Metallica fan.

When I heard Fade to Black, I found that music could have a message without being a folk song. Hard and heavy (with meaning), the song stirred me… and the world. Newspapers actually covered the song, and its effect on its listeners.

They continued to make music, and I continued to be a fan.

Then one day, I heard a song being played that had a familiar ring, but seemed odd… different… good.

I sought out this music and stumbled onto something I had once joked about ("Heavy Metal Elevator Music… the songs of Danzig… on pan flute!") but had never thought would be anything I would consider amazing.

Apocalyptica. Their first album was a collection of Metallica songs played on four cellos. Simply unbelievable.

Since they have done more covers, as well as some original music. All of it stunning for the simplicity and complexity of playing music with cellos while retaining depth.

If you haven’t, check them out. I highly recommend them.

The problem with my poetry…

… is that I write most of them as songs. Some of them seems silly on paper, but when I read them in my head the band plays with them.

Only, I’m not a song writer. The music doesn’t flow nearly as well as the words. Sure, it sounds great in my head, but I can’t put the notes on paper or play the instuments. I can’t even describe them enough for someone else to play it.

But such is life.

By the way… this means there is more poetry in the Poetry section.

23 February 1999

So I have this dream last night… it was an odd mix of The Postman (more the book than the movie) and The Stand. It started as a worst case scenario of the Y2K bug (which will never happen, it’s not like the world is just going to shut down over night), a little anarchy, a little war. People banded together here around Atlanta and we started rebuilding society. It was just an odd dream all around. I don’t remember my dreams all that often, so why do I remember this one?
Dreams can tell you alot about a person, I think. What they are thinking, what they really feel, what they strive for, what they hide. I used to keep a dream journal, and I should probably start that again. I just wish I could find that old journal, because maybe now, looking back, I might get a little insight to myself, applying what I know now to what I felt back then. But sometimes, I think that maybe it’s good that I can’t find it. Overanalysing yourself can lead to a mental lockdown. I don’t know.
Occationally, I get this de ja vu feeling, that feeling that you’ve done or seen or heard something before. And later, after I go through the situation, I’ll remember, “I dreamt that! Months ago! Exactly as it happened!” But for some reason, and maybe it’s good and maybe it’s bad, I can’t remember that I’ve dreamt these things before they happen, always after. What good are precognitive dreams if you can’t remember them on time?
By far though, I would say the coolest thing I have ever had happen in dreams is a shared dream. Where I had a dream and someone I knew was in it, and when I talk to them, I find out that they had the exact same dream, only, from their point of view. And it’s like we were in the same dream space or dream scape or whatever, because everything is the same, and in my dream I had full control, and in their dream, so did they, and it’s just so cool and weird and exciting and frightening. And to me, I guess, it lends credibility to things like mental powers, astral worlds, and magic (or magik or majik or however they are spelling it this week to denote real power not illusions of power). Do you believe in magic?
Theater Review: She’s All That. When I first heard the title of this movie and saw the preview I though to myself, “This is going to be another one of those throwaway John Hughes wannabe movies of the ’90s trying to recapture the ’80s teen angst genre.” But I did go see it, and I was surprised. It was actually entertaining, funny, warming, and good. It made me laugh and smile, and at moments, had me remembering times in my life that were (while not that fantastic) similar. While I don’t think any movie will ever quite get was Sixteen Candles, Pretty In Pink, and all those other ’80s classics had, this one comes pretty damn close.
Today’s Song: No More Love by God Lives Underwater. If Alice In Chains did techno music, this is what it would sound like. And I gotta admit, I love this song. The music is pumping and the lyrics are just cool. I picked up Empty, GLU’s first full album and the second that I have bought, specifically for this song, much like I picked up Life In The So-Called Spaceage for From Your Mouth, and found that once again, while looking for one song, I found a good album.
Today’s Movie: Book of Love. It’s an odd little throwaway movie that most people will never see, but I have, and it was a good way to spend a couple hours. A light comedy about a kid trying to land the girl of his dreams in the ’50s.
TV Highlight: I watched the first part of Stephen King’s Storm Of The Century. This was good story telling so far. I’ve heard from some people that it drops off at the end, but so far I’m glued to the screen. I can’t wait to watch parts 2 and 3.