Mission Silence: On The Bus

This is the fourth image that comes up in a Google image search for Fraser Street Vancouver. Welcome to my hood. Do you still judge me for wanting to distract myself with podcasts now?

DAY ONE:

When I said I was going unplugged many people read it to mean that I was unplugging from the Internet. Hells no! I’m way too addicted to it to give it up for a week. What I meant was that I was going to attempt to go through life without the plugged in background noise that I usually surround myself in; my iPod, the radio or the television on in the background just to keep me company.

Yesterday I took the bus. Waiting at the stop became an exercise in pain tolerance as I had no podcast to distract me from the depressing surroundings of South Fraser: derelict buildings, closed businesses, and rotting fruit stands. Once I was on the bus I couldn’t help overhearing the shouts and rambles of teenagers who gossiped about how many oranges they took from class, when some ‘bullshit’ assignment was due and a debate about one of their teachers being an alcoholic. They hit me with their backpacks, smelled like cigarettes mixed with B.O. and shrieked overusing the words ‘like’ and ‘shut-up!’ The most disappointing aspect to this trip unplugged was that these kids didn’t give me one good overheard. I mean, if I have to listen to other people it should at least be entertaining.

As you may know, I have a propensity for people watching. This activity becomes dangerous in life unplugged; I am left without the force field that earbuds give me. Luckily, as of yet, I haven’t been approached. But I know the moment is coming. Even with earbuds I get chatted up by strangers I make unwilling eye contact with. 99.99% of the time it’s not the kind of chat up I’m hoping for. It’s not that I want to hide from the world or that I hate people, I just prefer to choose who I have my interactions with. Mostly I like to avoid my fellow companions on the Crazy 8 bus as much as possible since most of my past overheards on it have come from people on drugs or just out of jail. Hmmm… perhaps I should walk a few blocks and take the Main Street bus tomorrow.

At home mission silence was a failure. My biggest success was making breakfast and eating it without the radio on. Instead I read an old newspaper while my hand twitched to turn on audio distractions. But I made it though the meal. Baby steps. Baby steps.

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