Saturday, July 02, 2011

Blood on the Bus

This past week has been one of frustrations. On Wednesday, the Blogger host site apparently had a problem that would not allow bloggers to access their blogs. I had written a quite lengthy blog post and when I went to post it, the site wouldn't allow it and I lost everything I wrote! I was not happy about that. Actually, that's an understatement. I don't know what's wrong, but it was the first time I experienced such a thing with this host site. Usually, after I write something and it gets lost, I don't feel like rewriting it. At least not right away. So, maybe that post will appear. Maybe it won't.

The other frustration, of course, is the final thesis paper that I'm helping a former co-worker with so he can get his MBA. Its taking away a lot of my free time and he acts as though he doesn't have to do any work on his own. I'm just the writer. He can certainly write his paper and let me edit it later, instead of having to meet each evening to write the paper together. I will be so glad when its over so I can focus on my own writing and have my free time in the evenings and weekends again.

The biggest frustration of all, though, occurred on Friday evening. After work, I went downtown to get a few things since it is payday. At Fred Meyer's, I had bought two copies of The Adjustment Bureau to send to a few friends (I'm gifting this movie to a select group of friends who I believe need to see this film and might be resisting seeing it). When I tried to leave the store, the electronic theft prevention device went off and everyone within earshot stared at me. Of course, I turned around and returned to the electronics section. The young lady working there ran the DVDs over a de-magnetizing thing and said that if it happens again, to just keep walking. So, I tried again at a different entrance and the alarm goes off again. Once again everyone within earshot stares at me, so I return to the electronics section. The lady can't be bothered. She said to just keep walking and not worry about the alarm. Weird. What's the point of having such a theft prevention thing, then? So, I went through the ordeal a third time. I was right behind one couple and sure enough, the alarm went off. The couple in front of me just stared at one another with confused expression, wondering if they set it off. They turned around and saw me. I sensed nervous energy. People were staring at me, but I just kept walking. No police came to arrest me.

Because of that ordeal, I decided not to go to Powell's City of Books to pick up a couple books I want to read next, because I didn't want the DVDs to trip up their theft prevention alarm. Instead, I decided to return home earlier than planned and have a nice free evening. As I waited for the bus, I thought about catching the 17 Bus. The problem with the 17 Bus is that the driver takes a 20 minute break at 134th street and that means a ten minute walk home where there are no sidewalks. I decide to take the 9 Bus and that turned out to be a colossal mistake. Huge.

On the bus, I read a novel, which I'm getting close to finishing, thus why I had wanted to get a new novel to read (even though I have plenty of unread books at home!). I was also tired and looking forward to going to bed before midnight. The bus continued its route. I've taken this bus plenty of times. Standard routine. Basically a 45 minute ride from downtown Portland to where I live in far out eastern Portland.

The bus idles a little bit longer than usual at the bus stop around 50th street. Shortly afterwards, the bus driver announces: "We have a bio hazard, so everyone must evacuate the bus." I was jolted out of my fictional world and into the reality of my surroundings. Bio hazard? I had noticed a passenger who reeked of marijuana smoke. This is actually a normal "eau de toilette" among Portlanders. But "bio hazard" had me wondering if someone had sneaked Anthrax on board!

After exiting the bus, one female passenger said that because one passenger's drop of blood landed on something inside the bus, the bus driver was required to evacuate the bus and return directly to the garage to have the bus cleaned. She said that Tri-Met wasn't going to send a replacement bus, either. The next # 9 bus only goes to 98th street, so that meant we had to wait an hour for the next one that goes all the way to Gresham. As soon as I heard that, I was livid. I had nothing but hatred for the bleeding passenger. I mean, I truly felt the hatred deep within me. This was definitely a trigger point for me. For as long as I remember, the person I hate the most is the selfish individual who has no regard to how his actions affect and / or inconvenience others. Its the reason why I never liked Ayn Rand's philosophy of selfishness as the ultimate virtue. Its the reason why I have such passionate debates with the young church member who advocates a completely selfish existence. When you live in society and your selfishness inconveniences other people, its a problem. Nothing can turn me adversarial quicker than a selfish prick who costs me time or money because of his thoughtlessness.

Truth be told, I had never heard of such a policy, but it makes sense. When it comes to blood, I suppose people fear possibly contracting HIV or Hepatitis. All it takes is one drop of blood to evacuate a bus and end a bus ride! When I got a look at the guy who caused an hour's delay going home, I felt nothing but a deep hatred for the guy. I mean, I was seriously sending hate energy his way. He looked like he was in his late twenties, he was carrying a skateboard, and there was a long gash on his left arm. He had a bunch of napkins to stop the bleeding. He looked like he was drugged out. He apologized for the inconvenience he caused, but it wasn't good enough for me. He basically cost me an hour, and made me regret not taking the 17 Bus.

Fortunately, the bus stop was next to a Burger King. Several passengers went inside to buy a meal. I decided to have dessert and bought a Sundae pie. It wasn't enough to get me to drop the hate, though. I tried to look at things from The Adjustment Bureau perspective. Perhaps the bus was on a "crash course" down the line and this guy's drop of blood conveniently fell from his arm onto the floor of the bus, causing our destinies to be altered. We'll never know, though. It is strange that having an open wound won't prevent the person from being allowed to board a bus, but if the blood falls off the body and lands anywhere on the bus or a seat mate, it becomes a bio hazard.

By the time I was able to have some compassion for the injured guy, a friend of his drove by to pick him up and he left a burning cigarette and his bloody napkins on the sidewalk, and my hate just returned. To me, that action is a strong and consistent sign that this guy is a selfish asshole. I truly hate people like that. I hate being a hater, but I seriously don't get the behaviour or mindset of a person so completely selfish and thoughtless, who acts without any regard to how his behaviour affects other people. This is a sign of a narcissist, but I have no idea if the guy is or not. What I do know from the events is that this guy is definitely a selfish prick and I hope that his negative karma comes back to him someday soon. What is so hard about gathering one's cigarette and bloody napkins and throwing them in the trash? When I witness people littering like that, I have little sympathy or like of them. They are basically trash themselves.

When the next full service route bus arrived, I was glad the ordeal was over with. However, at another stop, there was a man running to catch the bus. Someone on the bus alerted the driver that there was a man wanting to board the bus, but the driver drove off and next thing we know, the running man hit the side of the bus. So much anger on a Friday night!

At the 92nd street stop, there were a lot of people waiting, as well as stops east of there. So many people probably wondered what happened to the previous bus. I know that there have been times when I waited for a bus at 122nd street and wonder why one has not arrived at the usual time. Maybe there was a breakdown or a bio hazard. Who knows?

After I got home, I prayed to God for a salary that would allow me to buy a car. I'm getting tired of depending on public transit. Especially when there are selfish pricks to ruin the evenings of many people. This incident is just another reminder of how much I dislike selfishness and anyone who advocates that this trait is the highest "virtue" one could have. No, there is nothing virtuous about being thoughtless, inconsiderate, and inconveniencing people. A few weeks ago, I felt similar hatred towards a woman in the grocery store who had a lot of groceries and had divided her groceries so she could make eight separate payments. This took forever and she did not apologize to the people behind her. Because of how long she took, I ended up missing the next bus and had to wait another 30 minutes for the next one. I just don't get the power trip selfish people get for inconveniencing people. I'm the type of person who feels horrible if I ever inconvenience people. I strive to be thoughtful and considerate of other people, especially in a public place.

Friday evening was just an off day, I guess. I was so exhausted that I fell asleep before I could hear all of the Coast to Coast AM program on Near Death Experiences (one of my biggest topics of interest). Interesting, the person on the program was talking about the Life Review that many NDE experiencers have reported. This is the one concept that I've long believed to be true. In our afterlife experience, we will face a review of our lives and see how we affected other people for good or bad. Its quite painful...especially for people who lived a completely selfish life that did not take into consideration other people. I imagine that the bleeding guy is going to feel one day what a selfish prick he was in life. Sucks to be him.

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