Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Green Bus Nightmares

Every now and then I have a green bus nightmare. I’m sitting at a bus stop on the streets of Chicago and a Chicago Transit Authority bus goes by. It’s painted two-tone green like CTA buses were up until the mid-1980s, when all buses had three huge steps right inside the door. So it was fuck you cripples if we wanted to ride.

It’s not that way anymore. Enough cripples raised hell back in the 1970s and 80s and now the front entrances of all CTA buses are flat and if a cripple wants a ride the bus the driver flips a switch and a ramp comes out and the cripple rolls right in. Simple as hell. These days, CTA buses are painted red, white and blue and they have the crippled stick figure access symbols on them.

But in my green bus nightmare, the approaching bus is one of the old inaccessible ones and it blows right past me. And I’m swearing! “Goddammit those fuucking green buses were supposed to be off the streets 25 years ago!" Sonuvabiiiiitch!"

And then I wake up swearing and I realize it was all just a terrible bad dream.

Now I'm no Freud but I think I know what these nightmares mean. The green buses represent my deep fear of social and political regression. I guess some part of my cynical subconscious still thinks that someday some big shot way up in the hierarchies might say, "You know what, fuck those cripples. Who the hell do they think they are? Let's put three huge, pointless steps back on all the buses, like back in the days when America was great. And while we're at it, let's fill in all those ramped curbs and turn them back into curbs!"

I hope my cynical subconscious is full of shit. But hey, with the kind of nasty-ass big shots we have in the hierarchies these days, you never know.

But in my most recent green bus nightmare, the green bus approached and I was swearing. "Sonuvabiiiii--" But then bus turned the corner and surprise! The other side was painted red, white and blue and it was adorned with crippled stick figure access symbols.

I'm still not sure what to make of that one. Maybe even that deep corner of my cynical subconscious is becoming convinced that cripple access is here to stay. Or maybe it was expressing its growing anxiety that the green bus mentality is making a comeback.

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