Sunday, September 05, 2010

BUS STORY # 200 (Shorts 16)

Love is on the way, originally uploaded by busboy4.

It’s one hot July afternoon, but the Rapid Ride is almost cold inside. We’re barreling up Central somewhere past Eubank when we have to pull up. There’s a cop car with its lights flashing in our lane and our driver couldn’t find an opening to the middle lane in time to bypass it. I can’t see anything from where I’m sitting except the back of the car and the bar of lights flashing red and blue over the top of the car. It isn’t until we find an opening and move around the cruiser that I can see what’s happening. The cop, a young guy, is assisting a decrepit old man into the back of the car. A walker is standing all by itself in the middle of the sidewalk. I don’t know if the guy was in obvious distress or if the cop decided it was just too hot to let an old man in his condition work his way up the long Central sidewalk on a walker. I like the latter version myself.


He’s maybe mid-40s. He’s explaining to the woman sitting across from him that he’s on his way to take some computer classes. He’s got this job as a receptionist, but he can’t really spell. He graduated from barber college, but he wasn’t strong in spelling. He can ask people to spell their last names, he’s OK with that part, but anything more and he just gets all balled up. The woman says the computer is just what he needs. If he learns Word, it’s got spell check on it, so all he has to do is get close and spell check will take care of it. His eyes widen. Yes, he says excitedly, that’s exactly what he needs!


Overheard from a conversation between two high school girls on the bus: “So he goes the third trimester starts the seventh month. I go no it doesn’t, it starts the sixth. Three, six, nine. I mean I’m the one who’s done it twice.”


I’m running a little late, but not too bad. I hustle out the door and get down to the stop a good couple of minutes before the bus comes. When the door opens, I reach down and grab the end of my lanyard and raise it up for the driver to see. At the same time the driver is looking blankly at what I’ve got in my hand, I’m registering what I’ve got in my hand doesn’t feel right. It’s my work badge, not my bus pass. I sheepishly tell her I know exactly where my bus pass is: hanging on the back of my closet door. She tells me to come on and board, she saw my pass yesterday morning, same place, same time, so she knows I’ve got one. I’m counting my blessings as we start to roll when she asks me how I’m planning to get home . . .


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