Sunday, August 12, 2007

BUS STORY # 45 (Shorts 2)

Waiting for the Yale bus, four of us seated on the bench for four. A woman walks up and stands by the bench. I get up and move to the tree at the other end of the bench. After a while, she says to me, “Don’t you want to sit back down?” “No, ma’am,” I reply. “I’m fine.” “You must be new to Albuquerque,” she says. “Nobody here has any manners.” A young bench-sitter in oversized clothes, buzz cut, and a CD earphone in one ear, laughs. Not derisively; appreciatively.


There’s a long line of us waiting for the Rapid Ride in front of The Frontier. When the front door opens, the “beep-beep-beep” tells us to stand back because the driver is lowering the drawbridge. That means there’s a wheelchair-bound rider aboard who’s getting off. The middle and rear doors open and passengers stream out. I see the driver walk over to the wheelchair area and start unhooking all the safety restraints. The young kid in front of me starts tracking something behind me. I turn in time to see an oversized middle-aged woman in a powder blue sweat suit duck into the bus through the rear exit door. The driver is bent over and too preoccupied with the wheelchair to see her, of course. The kid looks at another young kid behind me. He raises his eyebrows and nods toward the rear exit. The other kid says, “Yeah. Cool, huh? First kid says, “We oughta try it.” But they don’t. The wheelchair rolls across the platform and onto the sidewalk. It holds an old guy in one of those veteran hats. He’s got big, black-framed glasses and a big smile. The hat and his jacket are bedecked with pins. He works the chair with his left leg. “God bless you, God bless, God bless you,” he tells each of us waiting in line.


The Rapid Ride is between stations going south on Wyoming. After a light turns green and traffic starts moving, we don’t. I hear a horn blast, look down the aisle and through the windshield. A woman is standing in the street in front of the bus waving her arms. She wants on. The driver shakes his head no. She’s not moving. He tries to pull around, but the traffic has him blocked in. Finally, he signals her to the front door. When she moves around to the door, he pulls away. I see her out my window, staring dumbfounded at the bus rolling past her.


After boarding a standing room only Yale bus one morning, a young kid (black jeans, black T-shirt, backpack) stands up and offers me his seat. “You don’t want to sit?” I ask. “No, I get off in a couple of stops,” he replies. Looking back, I count three guys and two women standing in the aisle. I ask the women if either of them want a seat. They shake their heads no. The guy behind me motions me to sit down. I do. I’m thinking about how it is this kid has offered me a seat when I spot a sign in the overhead advertising panel across the aisle: “PLEASE OFFER SEATS FORWARD OF THIS SIGN TO THE ELDERLY AND HANDICAPPED.”


Blogger Heather said...

I don't know if I should have or not, but I laughed out loud when you wrote that the bus drove by lady-in-the-road. A co-worker has a sign posted in his office: Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine.

4:24 PM  
Blogger Busboy said...

I think your co-worker and the driver are right. But I have to confess, I was taken by complete surprise. I thought he was going to let her on. I think he did the right thing not letting her on. How he got past her was trulu inspired, and I think your laughing out loud is a tribute.

5:34 PM  

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