Liz Nix

Category: Something Else

Dear City

Dear City Where I Was Born,

I haven’t been outside of you for more than weeks at a time

in the entire time I’ve been alive.

and in a matter of weeks that’s going to change.

So, let me just say: you have been AMAZE . . . ing

and I love you,

and I know, (I know!) that you love me too.

You are SO beautiful,

even in your dark parts

(maybe not the darkest,

because I’ve seen the struggle

and the people who have died there,

but still I can’t deny

a certain sense of pride

in the time I would reside there.)

I have to thank my parents

for choosing this place

for having me here

in you, dear city, which taught me

to love without fear.

We were all just there in you

from all walks of life

Race, color, creed, gender, orientation,

These taxonomies all came to mean certain things,

but never whether or not one could be trusted

with my life.

You maintained your sunny disposition

as often as you could.

And you would cry

whenever I would.

I’ll be back, I know.

But you’re going to change and so will I.

I just want to say, I hope that you thrive.

Your state is great,

and your Country’s okay.

As far as they go.

anyway

Hello, Beautiful

There is a sweet spot somewhere between Pahrump NV and Vegas where you see those purple mountain’s majesty.

Majesty, and such

Between the place where those Scandinavian folk at hotel brunch told how much they appreciate WalMart because there is nothing like it where they were from, my own appreciation for WalMart as a place where  I could pee in a safe, well-lit toilet at any hour while camping in their parking lot during the nights which would follow, and a place where I could buy $5 shoes after I wore clean through the ones I’d brought; and the glitz and “anything-goes” attitude of Vegas where I, in my black and white and red pretty-lady get-up, became a central figure in a Penn and Teller act. Between the hotel room in Pahrump where I felt comfortable enough at an affordable price that I could sleep off a cold for 3 days before camping in said WalMart parking lot, and the handgun safety and skill course which was the reason for the trip in the first place.

I realized in that sweet spot that this is actually still the best country in the world, and I feel almost hesitant now to wash my hands of the whole thing.

On being poor and riding the bus

Jesus isn’t going to be my bus driver any more and I didn’t find out the routes were switching until it was too late to thank him. I was sure to thank the other two regular bus drivers on the last day. The Regular Bus drivers knew me and didn’t bat an eye let alone call me out when I dropped in far too little change for my fare.

I felt some regret, last week, digging into the real copper pennies which I know to be more than 1 cent in value based on the metal alone. But I paid for less than a tenth of my fare so I guess in arbitrary values of things I’m coming out ahead. I’ve gotten on with no fare at all–save my embarrassment at having to admit my empty handedness–often and even recently, I prefer to pay what I can, though, to keep the public transit moving and to not set a bad example or earn the ire of my fellow riders. (That’s my privilege, I recognize.) 

Now, the routes have changed, the drivers are new. Still the 333, but a new name on the placard, new person behind the wheel.  As I dropped exactly $1.85 into the meter yesterday, the first day, the driver told me, “it’s $2.10 now”. Ouch. Also, the student discount is now only available for students under 18 years old. Personally, I’ve never used a student discount. A young lady who did got the news today. She sat behind me; I heard her call her dad and ask for more allowance.

So, I end on a passage I read today from “Time Enough for Love” by Robert Heinlein (which I have learned you cannot read until you’ve read “Revolt in 2100” and “Methusalah’s Children”):

You can’t make money by making money because money isn’t money other than on its planet of issue. Most money is fiat; a ship’s cargo of the stuff is wastepaper elsewhere. Bank credit is worth even less; Galactic distances are too great. Even money that jingles must be thought of as trade goods–not money–or you’ll kid yourself into starvation.

I just grabbed this from google images.

Being a friend to Carl

jennifer-lawrence-in-the-hunger-games-mockingjay-part-2-2015In the weeks since my preceding post about adventures on the county bus, I’ve made a concerted effort to be a better friend to Carl. All of us regulars have. Together We’ve been able to influence him toward more appropriate conduct with the young ladies he meets. On this morning’s ride, he and I bonded over our mutual love for Jennifer Lawrence, after I informed him that she’s actually 25.

Carl’s actually a decent fellow, despite being a Raiders fan. The highlight of his week was helping an elderly man struggling with pain from a back injury board the bus and get seated. The other highlight of his week was scoring a new Raiders shirt. He’s looking forward to seeing the latest Hunger Games movie.

 

The Way Down

Jesus brought me down on the 333. It’s one of the older busses on the county’s fleet. It’s got faux wood paneling inside. Jesus is an excellent driver.

It was crowded when I got on, rows full of students and their companion backpacks. I walked all the way to the back and back up again. I sat near the middle next to an older woman who I didn’t recognize as a regular. Carl talked the whole way, like he always does. Too personal and too close to a girl who either goes to the high school or the junior college. He doesn’t seem to understand the boundaries of personal space, but we forgive him the way we would a child because he’s obviously that in some respects, but he’s got to be in his forties and someone really ought to talk to him about propriety. Closest I’ve ever come was telling him sharply not to disrespect me.

It was here that I pulled out my Heinlein and escaped as John Lyle.