I've really been enjoying my commute
to West Seattle. Three or four times a week I board the 8:25
and ask the same question: "Do you turn into the
Invariably, the operator is at first confused (and for some reason it is
almost never the same driver--wouldn't it make more sense to assign the same
routes day after day?) and then says yes. It's part of the King County Metro
bus system madness that some buses magically transform into other route numbers
but cloak this tendency towards metamorphosis under a shroud of mystery.
It's like you have to know the handshake to be let in on the secret. The
ride lasts 50 minutes, during which time I read. Lately I've been glomming
onto Sarah's library books.
First it was
I, Claudius, which initially I disparaged as a highbrow
Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous, but then I
got into it. It's about a noble-born Roman whose democratic leanings are
out of step with his royal relatives' imperial ambitions and the decadence
and debasement that come when family dynasties rule. It was a somehow
timely read. This morning I was burning through
Mongo by Ted Botha, a collector of collectors, who relates
the habits of various types of trash-pickers in NYC. Anarchist kids scrounging
delicacies from chichi food boutiques' garbage, a last-hand book dealer,
mud-pickers and privy-diggers, can-do canners, savvy antiquarians and scavenging
salvagers, all of whom live for and/or make a living from the discarded goods
they glean from the city streets. Fittingly, as I get off the bus I spot
a few cardboard boxes in the garbage behind some businesses. Computer
peripherals, a toy car, a checkerboard, this bingo card. It seems to be stitched
together cardboard with a leather-like veneer, with little plastic sliding
windows--a strange and attractive blend of materials craftily assembled.
You know it's old because it was made in the USA. BINGO!