The Night of No Bus

It was the wrong day for this to happen . . .

I normally ride the 8, leaving from Old Town. As it happened, January was a really crazy month for me, job-wise. I had been working 60 hour weeks for over a month, and I was on top of a deadline. On that particular day in the middle of January I had left for work at 5 a.m. and was finally ready to leave (read: not finished, but EXHAUSTED) at 10:45 p.m. I walked out of my office and to my normal stop, thankful to be that much closer to bed.

Ten minutes later, a skater punk girl joins me in my wait. Ten minutes after that, she checks the bus location on her phone, and tells me they’ve rerouted the buses (of course on this day I’ve forgotten to charge my phone and it is dead at home), and we’ll have to hustle to make it to the next stop at Broadway and Davis.

I go as fast as I can in my heels, and when I round the corner see a huge group of people waiting. The first ten minutes were fairly quiet; no one wants to talk to all the other random bus-waiters. But then we see the 8 approaching on the other side of Burnside . . . and then it turns before it gets to where we are all waiting. When a number 4 does the same, the quiet stops. People start to talk to one another.

“Hey – isn’t this supposed to be the right stop?”

“Did you and your friends come from downtown? What is it like over there? Did you see any buses?”

The word on the street is that due to construction, somewhere, several buses were re-routed. All the people start filling in the story.

“I saw an 8 fly by some people on 5th too.”

By this time, I am eyeing the box of pizza that the guy beside me has stowed under his arm, and decide to go back to the office to call my husband to let him know I’ll be home extra extra late.

I go back, and by now it is 11:25 p.m. The office is dark, and the security code set.

I return to the purported bus stop and now there are factions of people all trying to figure out Plan B. All kinds of people were smiling and laughing – student-types, prostitutes, restaurant workers, kids out partying – It was one of those moments that I felt really good about the world. I see Pizza Boy, and ask to borrow his phone (it was all I could do not to ask for any of his dinner).

I called my sleeping husband to come pick me up in the end, because even though there was probably a number 8 bus somewhere, I had no idea where it was (or the energy to track it down). He came and got me, and we gave Pizza Boy a ride home too. No one else wanted a ride that night, but hopefully they all got home all right.

Story contributed by Hope. Check out her blog at So, I Says To Myself….

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3 Responses to The Night of No Bus

  1. AL M says:

    Haha…..
    The joys of mass transit!

  2. Dutch says:

    Did you ever contact TriMet to find out what was going on? I know they have no customer service (after 5 p.m.), but you could call the next day. That’s a lot of people to just leave waiting.

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