Friday, October 29, 2010

A Walk to Remember

* One morning, Charlie doesn't come because the van's in the shop. I grab a seat on the bus across the aisle from Barbara and the man who was once attacked by albinos.

"I hate people," he says to Barbara. "It takes a lot for me to trust a person. There are a few words I've erased from my vocabulary. They are: wife, trust and in-laws."

* Barbara and this man recount their wild youth.

"Sometimes, I really miss my Studio 54 days," Barbara says.

"I can't believe I'm still alive," says the man who was once attacked by albinos.

* I walk from the bus with Barbara to her subway stop on Broadway. She asks me what intersection I work at. I tell her 37th Street.

She immediately makes a gagging sound.

"That's the absolute worst place you can work," she says. "And you have to deal with all of that trash on 34th Street."

I ask her what's wrong with 34th Street.

"Oh, I don't know," she says. "I'm just being snobby again."

* Charlie returns. Barbara has once again gone on another cruise.

"Oh, I've been waiting to tell you about this," Jennifer says.

I took a sick day the day before and missed out on some Barbara antics.

She purchased a pair of shoes somewhere in NYC that cost $200. However, there were many problems with the shoes. They didn't fit her properly. The heel was too narrow. The stitching wasn't sturdy.

She then took off her shoe and passed it around the van, sticking it in people's faces so they could see what was wrong with it, too.

* We pull up to the corner to pick up our newspapers.


We eventually pull away.

"That man is too much," chuckles John Krazisnki's Uncle.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Voices

* John Krazinski's Uncle's daughter is riding today, visiting NYC since she's on vacation. They're sitting directly in front of Barbara.

Christina and Jennifer are sitting behind Barbara. They were talking for a few minutes and then stopped.

After about two minutes, Barbara turns around.

"Which one of you is talking?"

Jennifer and Christina look at each other.

"We weren't talking," Christina says.

"I keep hearing one of you talk but I don't recognize the voice," Barbara says. "I know your voices so well. But which one of you is it?"

She looks at me.

"Is it you?"

"No. I haven't said a word all morning."

Barbara then realizes.

"Oh, it's his daughter! It's because I never met her before," Barbara says. "I thought maybe I had voices in my head from all the drugs I took last night."

* When Barbara leaves, Christina turns to me.

"Barbara asked me again exactly what day I was going to stop riding the van."

* I won't be taking the van again until next Tuesday. I tell this to Charlie when I step off.

"Do you promise?"

I do.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Dog Bite

* Barbara and Christina are talking about dog. I join in the conversation as I'm obsessed with my dog.

"I have this little tiny thing that's so adorable," Barbara says. "We wrap him up and bring him in a stroller to all the department stores."

* Barbara also recounts the e-mails she used to receive from a family friend.

"This girl, she was about 22. She used to send us e-mails with pictures of her dog with another dog. It would say things like, 'We might fun off and get married,'" she says. "It was great. My husband and I used to run to the computer to check her e-mails every night. We actually started to believe they were real."

* We start talking about the rescue of the Chilean miners. Barbara says that she was given a "disaster kit" from a local Jewish community center.

"It's so small. There's so much that's placed in it. There's all this food. There's a blanket. But it's so compact," she says. "Those miners had kits like that I bet. They were well equipped to live down there."

* We pick up the morning newspapers at the corner. The man who hands them to us says, "Don't get bit by a dog on the way down."

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Fashion Is A Passion

* Nick/Saul is sitting next to Barbara. He puts my bookbag next to her as he leaves.

"You can have anything in my bookbag," I tell her. She asks me what's inside. "Well, my lunch. It's a PB&J sandwich, plus some Pop Tarts."

She laughs.

"That's how you keep so young! One of my co-workers daughter comes to work sometimes. That's what she eats! She's 11."

* I ask Barbra if she wants to read one of the two books in my bag. The first is a biography of James K. Polk. She says that she'll pass.

The other is a book about an anarchist attack on Wall Street which took place in 1920. (True.)

"I heard on the news the other day that it's bad to invest now but working on Wall Street is great," she says.

"Well, my book is about how a bomb exploded on Wall Street and a bunch of people were killed," I say.


* A man I've never seen before gets off early. He says, "Cheers, everyone," despite not being British.

"Did you hear that, Christina," Barbara says. "He said cheers to you. I'm going to tell your husband that he said that to you. I bet he won't like that. What's his name again? Frank?"


"Well, I'm going to tell him this and he won't like it."

* Barbara steps off and Christina rolls her eyes.

"She told me before to not talk when she reads the paper," she says. "But everyone wants to hear me talk. Right?"

I tell her that, yes, I want her to talk. (I ignore the fact that I blog about my morning commute and conversation gives me material.)

"She also makes fun of my clothes. The other day, she said, 'Don't you think you'll suffocate to death wearing that?' I'm going to have to call her every morning so she can tell me what to wear," she says.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Crush the Rebels

The Vanpool is both very diverse and well-read.

John Krazinski's Uncle frequently brings both a copy of Investor's Business Daily and The Economist with him and is quite knowledgeable about pretty much everything. Christina, Colombian by birth, works for the UN and is outspoken about Latin American politics.

"What do you think about Ecuador," John Krazinski's Uncle asks, referring to the recent troubles in that nation that nearly sacked the presidency of leftist Rafael Correa.

"Oh, he's nuts," Christina says. "He's not as kookoo as Hugo Chavez. But he's still nuts. I hate him."

I ask her what she thinks of Colombia's new president, Juan Manuel Santos.

"He is perfect," she says. "He is everything Colombians want. He's going to crush the rebels and kill them. He's going to crush FARC."

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Dental Care

Today was Charlie's return from a vacation to Hilton Head!

On his vacation, Charlie had to have an emergency dental procedure. It only cost $50.

"$50! Wow," Barbara says. "I'm moving there."

I cast my bait.

"Wait, Barbara, you're moving tomorrow," I ask.

"No," she says. "Charlie said he had a really cheap dental procedure and I said I'm moving there," she says.

"So you'd move to South Carolina just for the cheap dental work?"

"Well, only if the dentist was cute," she says. "But I bet that would cost more."