May 26, 2004

I was on the bus at lunch

The bus was almost empty, I sat down with my cell phone in my hand, trying to decide if I wanted to send a text message or not. I decided that it was a nice quiet bus, and that I'd really prefer to stare out the window at the shops on Fillmore. So I just held the phone in my hand. It's got a nice smooth shape that fits nicely in the palm. Just before my stop a grizzled old man with a grandfatherly beard got on and sat down in one of the front seats.

"Oh," He said strangely loudly, "Do we all have to listen to you talk on the PHONE?!" I had no idea what he was talking about. My phone wasn't visible and it was on vibrate. "You don't need to talk so loud that we ALL have to hear!" And then I realized he was referring to a girl near the back who was talking on her cell. She had a gentle accent I'd place as South African, and I hadn't even noticed her voice before he pointed it out.

He started talking with the man across the aisle about how rude people with cell phones are. Such vitriol from this man who only moments before looked like a sweet old grandpa. They went on about how people kept their phone on the loud ring setting even when it was in their pockets and vibrate mode would suffice. While his attitude might have been enough to put me off, I mean here I am with my cell phone in my hand not 2 feet from the old grump, this guy's attitude, volume, and bitter anger was far more unpleasant than the gentle roll of the girl's conversation.

He'd taken a fairly quiet moment that might have been somewhat irritating to him, and turned it into a loud moment that irritated everyone else, most importantly ME. I thought about pointing that out but I'd been so busy getting irritated that I almost missed my stop and had to jump off the bus before I got the chance. I managed a quiet "crotchety old ass" as I walked away that I pretended might have been loud enough for him to hear.

Funny how we can't just accept our own pain and irritation without spreading it around a little.

Posted by allison at May 26, 2004 12:04 AM