Sunday, November 25, 2007

BUS STORY # 60 (Shorts 3)

Waiting for the homebound Lomas just east of the Wyoming intersection. It’s dark, and it’s getting cold. Kid rides up on his bike, dismounts, and asks, “The bus here yet?” I auto-answer “Not yet” before the question sinks in. I’m still amused when the bus actually arrives. The kid walks his bike to the front door. “I only got sixty cents. Can I ride?” The driver nods, and he moves to the front of the bus to mount his bike on the rack. Inside, it’s warm and bright.


I’m at my Lomas stop a little early this morning because we don’t have a regular driver this time around, and the schedule has about a seven minute wobble. This morning, it’s pretty much on time. But as it gets closer, I realize it’s gonna blow right on by. I step into the street and the sweep of the headlights and wave my briefcase at the windshield. I yell “Hey! Hey!” as the bus rolls right on past. It squeals to a stop down the street. I walk over and board. The driver tells me she didn’t see me in the dark. She’s new to me. In the back, one of the regulars tells me yesterday, this driver explained to the first boarders at Lomas and Tramway she didn’t have to pick up passengers along this route until Chelwood, west of Tramway. She told them she was just being nice to allow these folks on board now. She was nice to all the other boarders east of Tramway who started yelling when it looked like they were going to be passed by, and she made sure they understood she was being nice. Words were exchanged, and my fellow rider suspects some calls were made. She didn’t tell me she was being nice this morning. But my fellow rider told me she might not have been so nice if the riders hadn’t yelled out she’d just driven past another passenger – me.


Lou Reed is coming to Santa Fe. A week before the concert, I spot him here in Albuquerque, waiting for the Rapid Ride at Wyoming and Lomas. Same unmistakable hair and sunglasses, same black leather jacket and pencil-thin jeans. He’s got a little ditto-mark thing going below his lower lip now, and he’s wearing athletic shoes instead of boots. But look at the way he’s leaning against the bus stop sign. Look how he holds his cigarette, the way he hunches over to take a drag. Lou Reed. Right here in the Duke City.


Coming home on the Lomas bus, we stop for a family of six: two parents and four children whose ages range from maybe 10 to toddler. They have grocery bags and a stroller. The toddler is a handful. So are the groceries and stroller. The older kids pitch right in. Despite the management challenges of this family outing by bus, all of them look like they’re having a good time. They laugh and talk among themselves. It occurs to me I’m looking at a happy family. Right here in the Duke City!


Blogger ZS said...

Lou Reed got the Rapid Ride! Wow! Now if only you'd been able to watch him interact with the Tom Waits pirate! What a story that could have been!

11:32 AM  
Blogger Busboy said...

I’m imagining the story of a duet, a harmony of Bone Machine and Metal Machine Music . . .

5:44 AM  

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