Last week I promised you a story about why I got three hours of sleep Monday night. Here goes nothing:
One of the reasons I chose my current neighborhood is the myriad ways to get here from there. The most magical of these is the express bus, the Magic Bus, that scoops me up at midtown and drops me as close to my apartment as fundamentally feasible. Plus, since I'm above ground the whole way, I can text and e-mail and surf and everything else with my little hand-held wonder-widget.
Last Monday, a long day that began with three hours' sleep, I staggered off the bus at around 11pm. And just as it veered out of sight I realized I'd left my wallet on the seat.
This was bad. I had a bit of cash in there, some irreplaceable stuff, plus everything I needed to get to work the next day. And the MTA is notorious for its labyrinthine lost and found, which is presided over by a body of CHUD-like gnome-wraiths several miles beneath the earth's crust. In all likelihood, that baby was long gone, doomed to spend eternity dissolving in some unholy subterranean cauldron.
An MTA vehicle happened by. Perfect! I'll hop in, he'll hit the siren, and we'll Bo-and-Luke it up to Riverdale, chase the bus down, get my wallet back, rewards and top-shelf liquor for all!
Yeah, no. I pleaded with the guy, offered him $50, considered all sorts of debasing services. But the best he could do was point me to his supervisor, the Guy in the Booth.
Everyone knows that the Guy in the Booth, especially during the overnight shift, is where urgent requests go to die. When you're on the launching pad and burning to launch the ignition sequence, the Guy in the Booth shoots a healthy dose of monoammonium phosphate up your pooper. My heart sank.
He was a nice guy, if initially ineffectual. Sorry, sir, but those are express buses. We're city buses. I have a number somewhere, but they never pick up. Let me see... Where is that manual?
Et freaking cetera.
Meanwhile, I was a wonder-widgeting demon. I googled "MTA lost found" and got all kinds of numbers, mostly for audibly annoyed cops. My fifth number, however, was Dorothy, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Dorothy wasn't the express bus dispatcher, but she knew who was, and she said she'd announce an APB for my wallet over the intercom.
And just as I was promising to name my next three daughters after her, the next express bus rolled to the stop. I knew it was headed the same place my wallet was, so I bolted from the Booth, sprinted over like a bat out of hell, knocked on the door, and begged the driver to let me on. Then the doors opened ....
[to be continued]