Constant Rider Omnibus, The: By Kate Lopresti, 125 pgs.

Aug 31, 2008

I don’t own a car. Living in New York, I only got a license so I could have some form of photo ID, and occasionally to drive to get groceries, rent movies, and go to the liquor store. My friend G-Unit told me once that I live on buses and trains, which is why I fucking love Kate Lopresti so much right now. A combination of the first seven issues of her The Constant Rider zine documenting the absurdities of riding the bus or the train to get places as opposed to driving like everyone else, this little piece of awesome is simple, smart, and funny. Her documentation and straightforward love of traveling via forms of non-car transportation like trains, bikes, and even airplanes tugs at my heart and brain, reminding me of all the weirdoes and strange evenings I’ve had on the subways coming home from work. The fellow morning commuters who help her when she faints going to work one day, the two AM drunks, single parents, and lonely hearts: they’re all there. I’m so adamant about how great this is, because I know what she’s talking about, I see the same people all the time, every day and night as I jet around the five boroughs for whatever reason. They’re both an intricate part of any city, and at the same time, an almost separate sub-section of populace hidden inside buses and underground on train cars on tracks. Normally you don’t see them, just the outside, but here in the omnibus, you see them and learn to, maybe, even love them. At least me, ‘cause I’m one of them, too. Everyone writes about the Kerouac-esque road trip and we as readers tend to look at it as some sort of big fucking deal. The Constant Rider Omnibus’ view is, however, that you can find a just as exciting of a world, if not more so, on the way to work in the morning on the Q28 to Main Street, the W train to 59th Street, or however you get to work every morning. It’s twice as fucked up sometimes, but also twice as life-altering, riding through life like that. And Kate’s writings encompass that perfectly. –Constantine Koutsoutis (Mircrocosm Publishing, PO Box 14332, Portland, OR97293)