Sunday, June 10, 2007

BUS STORY # 36 (I’m Not Smoking!)


At The Central and San Mateo Rapid Ride station around three in the afternoon on a Wednesday, a long line of passengers was boarding the bus. Suddenly the driver yelled, “Hey, you, offa the bus, now!” One of the folks in the aisle yelled back, “I’m not smoking! I’m not smoking!” He kept moving to the back of the bus and didn’t look back. Big, beefy guy in a faded black baseball cap and faded red T-shirt.

The driver finished with the remaining boarders, then got out of his seat and walked past me toward the back of the bus.

“I said get off the bus.”

“I’m not smoking, I told you.”

“Get off the bus right now.”

“____ you!”

“Whoa!” This last under the breath of the guy who’d just sat down next to me.

The driver returned to his seat. Behind us we heard a more subdued, more petulant, “I’m not smoking.” I watched the driver in the rear view mirror. I didn’t see anything that suggested he might be calling someone – say ABQ RIDE security, for example. The bus proceeded as if it were a normal day. Which it probably was.

I got off at the next stop. I really didn’t want to. I wanted to stay on board to see how this was going to play out. I was feeling a bit like Woody Allen’s character in Annie Hall: frustrated I’d missed the beginning. I thought maybe I could figure it out if I saw the ending. I imagined riding as far west as it took, then getting off and catching the next eastbound back to Yale, where I was headed in the first place. But it was still a workday, and I had to get back to it.

There are a million stories in the Big Town. Here’s one that got away.

2 Comments:

Blogger Heather said...

Well THAT's going to bug me all day now. :)

3:13 PM  
Blogger Busboy said...

Exactly how I felt.

5:29 PM  

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