Sunday, July 05, 2009

BUS STORY # 140 (Shorts 11)

A construction worker boards the bus after a hard day’s work. Whatever job he’s been working on, it’s obvious from his work clothes he was doing the dirty work. He picks a seat facing the aisle, climbs up on the platform, carefully brushes off the seat, then sits down.


We’re stopped on red on Central at University. I’m sitting a few rows behind the driver. A partition blocks my view of him. I hear his voice boom out: “Where’re you headed?” I hear nothing. Then the driver again: “You want to go that way.” I see his right thumb poking out from behind the partition, pointing south. I look out my window. I see a white car with out-of-state plates in the lane next to us, even with the driver. I see someone leaning out the window on the passenger side, looking up at the driver. Then I hear the driver: “Go ahead on the light. I’ll wait on you.” When the light turns green, we don’t move. I follow the white car after it turns in front of the bus and heads south down University. We begin to move.


He boards the bus carrying two plastic bags. One has a big rectangular box inside, like a large kitchen appliance of some kind. The other looks like it has a few household or grocery items. He carries both bags in one hand, and the heaviness of the one bag makes his movements awkward and clumsy. The appliance bag bangs his leg a couple of times on his way down the aisle. He and the bags more or less crash into place in an empty row of seats just ahead of me. At the next stop, he gets up with the bags and crashes his way three rows forward. It seems like way too much trouble to get that little bit closer to the front door. Two stops later, he moves again, back two rows. A stop later and he moves to the last row at the back of the bus, bumping and thumping and almost losing his balance. He exits at the next stop.


Overheard: “My girlfriend gave a cell phone to her nine-year-old. I tell her what’s up with that? She says ‘Trust me – I know what I’m doing.’ So a couple a weeks later, she tells the kid her teacher called and said she hadn’t turned in some of her assignments. Then she says, ‘Give me the phone. You can have it back when your homework is done.’ That was a year ago, and it’s still working!”


The photo above features last year’s Poetry On The Bus second place winner in the adult category. The poem is Ganado, by Ray Reeder. Click on the photo to enlarge.


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