Sunday, December 21, 2008

BUS STORY # 112 (Nice Kid)

They get off the Rapid Ride with me at Lomas. Two brothers for sure. The older looks to be 12, the younger 8. Something like that. Older brother has on a jacket and black cords. He’s walking a red bike. Little bro has a gray sweatshirt with the hood pulled over his head. He’s carrying a plastic shopping bag.

Big bro watches to be sure I push the correct crosswalk button. Then he turns his attention back to little bro. Little bro is laughing and swinging the grocery bag. He’s in high spirits. Big bro mounts his bike and twists the handles while we wait for the light to change.

Out in the crosswalk, little bro runs out ahead. He spins around midway and yells back at his brother, “I’m gonna beat you! I’m gonna beat you!” Big bro makes a move. Little bro takes off running. Big bro makes sure little bro wins the race.

We end up joining a group already waiting. The two brothers stay close. Little bro asks a lot of questions. He’s always laughing and kidding. Big bro always responds. He’s quiet, and he always looks at little bro when he answers.

Big bro takes out a pack of gum. He pulls out a stick and offers it to little bro. Little bro grabs it and laughs.

Another, younger boy standing nearby asks if he can have some gum, too. His mom calls out his name sharply. Big bro takes out a second piece and asks mom if it’s all right for him to give it to her son. She looks at the gum, looks at big bro. She can tell he’s a nice kid. She says sure. Big bro gives her son the gum.

“Say ‘thank you!’”

The kid says thank you.

Little bro starts teasing big bro. His face is pure mischief. Then he swings the plastic bag and whacks his brother on the shoulder. Not hard, but it’s a thwack. Big bro just shakes his head. Little bro laughs.

I’m thinking of the legendary family dog that lies there patiently enduring the little kids climbing all over him and pulling his ears and shouting in his face.

When the bus comes, they’re the last to board because big bro has to put his bike in the rack. Little bro is first in. He moves down the aisle, stops, turns, yells “C’mon!”

Once in the seat, they continue the same kind of exchange as at the bus stop. Little bro’s hood is off, now. He’s got a Mohawk. It goes perfectly with his mischievous face.

Big bro starts to reach for the pull cord, then tells little bro to go for it. By the back door, he has a way of standing over little bro that makes me think “guardian angel.” He pushes the door open over little bro’s head when the bus has stopped.

As we pull away, I last see big bro walking down the sidewalk with his bike on his right and little bro on his left. “Nice kid,” I say to myself. I start to add “They don’t make kids like that anymore,” but, obviously, they do.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't know if you meant it, but I liked the bus picture because it had the bus and Happy Holidays, but also because it had red and green ("Navidad") and Love & Kisses in the front window.

8:22 AM  
Blogger Busboy said...

I'd like to tell you how I took that shot with every one of those details in mind, but the truth is, this was the least disappointing of a series of Happy Holiday bus shots I'd taken, and I just didn't have time to get a better one.

A few days after I posted the story and photo, I saw a very nice shot by wastemanagementdude from the DukeCityFix photo stream (, and I was kicking myself for not having seen it sooner and asking his permission to use it.

Your comment makes me feel better. Thanks.

3:43 PM  

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