Sunday, April 20, 2008


BUS STORY # 80 (Shorts 5)


At the inbound Louisiana Rapid Ride stop, a fellow boards and stops on the first step. He tells the bus driver he left his bike on the bus just ahead of us, and he wants to know if he can board without paying the fare to go after it. The bus driver tells him he should go across the street and wait for the bus to come around. “So I should take the bus across the street?” “No, no,” the driver corrects him, “just wait there for the bus with your bike on it to come around.” He mulls this over. “Ok,” he says, then climbs aboard. The driver just stares at him for a minute, then shakes his head, closes the front door, and drives on. When I get off at Yale, I see the biker perched on the edge of his seat, eyes fixed on the front windshield, keeping a sharp lookout for the bus ahead of us – the one with his bike still in its rack.

***


On the back of the T-shirt of a heavily tattooed older guy in oversized Hard Knocks shorts waiting for the Yale bus:

“Why is it that when I shine
You continue to hate me?
If you would pay attention to my
Actions, then you would see
That everything I do reflects
Who I am
Apparently, your blind to the fact
And refuse to acknowledge me
For who I am
When you see me the first thing
That should come to your mind is – PLAYER
Because you gotta call it like you see fit.”

***


I’m on the Yale bus and headed for the airport. It’s the first run of the day and folks are quiet. The “Stop Requested” bell goes off. As the bus starts to pull over, a passenger calls out, “Sorry, bus driver, it’s the next stop.” He gets off at the next stop. A few minutes later, another “Stop Requested” bell goes off. Once again, as the bus starts to pull over, another passenger calls out, “It’s the next stop, driver. Sorry.” One of the several blind folks who are regular riders on this route pipes up: “And these are the people who can see where they’re going!” She brings down the house, and no one is laughing harder than the man who pulled the cord too early. A short while later, the “Stop Requested” bell goes off again. After the laughter subsides, the driver calls back “Are you sure this time?” The responses vary: “Ignore it!” “It’s the next one!” And so forth. She stops, of course, and if the rider disembarking is a stop early, he’s not letting on.

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