BUS STORY # 403 (You Know My Name)
Hello Kitty Rides the Bus. Downloaded from Amazon.com.
But you don’t have to call me “Darlin’,” Darlin’
You never even called me by my name
-- Steve Goodman and John Prine, from “You Never Even Call Me By My Name”
He’s a big dude.
I watch him slide his bus pass through the slot, then take a bench seat right in front of me.
Shaved head, part of a solid black tattoo coming out of his faded black T-shirt and covering his left jugular. Blue jeans with knee pads strapped on.
Big, and in good shape.
We come to a stop where two of the boarders are women, one young with a stroller, one old with a walker. He gets up and heads for the back, leaving the bench seat empty.
The young woman takes the just-emptied bench seat in front of me; the older woman takes the bench directly across the aisle.
The older woman looks like a character. She’s got a wrist full of colorful red rubber bracelets, and she’s wearing red sunglasses with “Hello Kitty” stamped in white on the temples.
Shortly afterwards, I hear “How’re you doin’ this morning, beautiful?”
It is a funny little high-pitched voice, like a daddy talking to his little girl.
I figure someone is on his cell, but he keeps repeating the greeting.
Next thing I know, the big guy has come back up to the front. He sits down next to me and leans out toward the old woman with the walker.
“Aren’t you gonna say good morning to me, beautiful?”
The old woman looks over as if she is dealing with a maniac, then breaks out in a big smile. She says she didn’t recognize him.
They exchange a few words, then he tells her he’s sorry, but he doesn’t remember her name.
She says he knows her name.
No, he doesn’t.
Yes he does.
Really, he doesn’t.
“You know my name. We go to the same church.”
He shrugs his shoulders and returns to the back of the bus.
Later, when she is getting off at her stop, he calls out, “Have a good day, beautiful.” She waves back, then maneuvers the walker off the bus and onto the sidewalk.
The photo at the top of this page was downloaded from Amazon.com.