Last night I was waiting for the bus. I am an expert at waiting for the bus because I do it at least twice a day. But last night was different.
First, I was cold. And maybe it was my fault because the sun was shining when I left the house, inviting me to leave my fleece at home and just wear a light jacket. I blame the fierce wind that ignored all my clothes and whipped my entire body into a tight, aching, chillbumped mass. But does it matter whose fault it is? No. I was cold. Second, I was carrying a heavy bag of groceries. I was trying to get to the apartment and have dinner ready by the time Kenny got off work and headed home.
Third, the bus stop timer thingy was broken. They have put up these beautiful computerized screens at select bus stops in Wonju that list the buses and how long you have to wait. I find that knowing how long I have to wait decreases my impatience by at least 75%. However, when the screen flashes that the server isn't working, it's absolutely unbearable. Because now I have to wait for the bus, I don't know how long, but I could know how long if the stupid thing was working. In my opinion it is better to wait at the bus stand without this sign rather than waiting at the bus stop with this sign out of order. It made me hot, but not hot enough to kill the chills.
And finally, Wednesday night must be Ajummas Shop and Ride the Same Bus as Me Night. Because I waited for about 10 minutes and every other minute or so, the bus stop filled with more and more ajummas, all ignoring the fact that I had been standing there freezing, with the plastic bag handles digging into my hand. They line up along the sidewalk with their perms and their stretchy pants,and the disdain rises into my throat. I'm almost choked by it. The bus finally comes and I'm shoved out of the way as they all clamber onto a bus that doesn't have any free seats anyway.
It's instant. I am transported back a year ago on a platform in Cheonho-dong. I am watching that one woman with no chin run to the front of the long line everyday to make sure she gets on the train first. And I am washed in rage. It broils in my belly and seeps up into my eyes that threaten to overflow. I feel like I'm going to be sick. The heat and the nausea bring me back to Bus 34 hurtling down the street, jerking in and out of gear, grinding to a standstill 5 feet after the bus stops. This driver is doing a dance on the pedals, gas then break, gas then break, jolting the bus towards my house.
I'm angry. It's the old rage, come back to visit. The one that burns the inside of my brain with resentment and irrational thoughts of entitlement. It is stupid and it is awful, but it is strong. And shortlived, thank God. By the time I get off the bus, I've cooled down and don't even remember to tell Kenny about it when I get home. It's funny how well-adjusted you can believe yourself to be.
Plus also, The Rage never truly dies.