Sunday, January 23, 2011

BUS STORY # 220 (Shorts 18)


4 bus back ends, originally uploaded by busboy4.


He’s got on a knit watch cap but no earbuds. He’s got a personal size spiral notepad in his left hand and a pencil in his right. Right now, the pencil is keeping time along with his head to some inaudible beat. He’s looking at the notebook and mouthing words to the beat. Then he stops, writes in the notebook, resumes the silent mouthing and the beat. Hip-Hop? R&B? Poetry on the bus?

***

Sitting on the inbound Lomas, I notice a half-smoked cigarette lying on the floor between the seats in front of me. A little while later, I see a high school student pick it up and put it in his T-shirt pocket. If I were writing fiction, he would have been an old man who was spending a lot of time on the street. But I suspect the two of them have this in common: neither is thinking about cleaning up the litter.

***

A black guy boards the Rapid, walks back to the aisle-facing seats just before the pivot, and swings up into the seat. He looks across the aisle at the white woman facing him, and his face lights up. He jumps down, steps into the aisle, leans over and kisses her on the cheek, then retakes his seat. They begin an animated conversation about how glad they are to see one another, and they begin catching each other up with all the goings-on in their lives. But this conversation is a little different. He’s articulating very clearly and very loudly while simultaneously signing to her. She answers back with what is clearly a serious speech impediment, but she does not sign. Just as fascinating is how clearly joyous this conversation is for both of them.

***

As we’re rolling through the intersection with Menaul, I see the No. 8 a block away and also heading for the intersection. It occurs to me there may be someone on that bus watching us roll through the intersection and thinking “Dang! Just missed it.” Our driver pulls into the first stop past the intersection and pops the doors. Nobody’s there. Nobody’s getting off. He sits there. Can it be? Is he possibly waiting to see if someone was trying to transfer from the 8 to our bus? A couple minutes later, a young guy comes into view on the sidewalk rapid-walking his bike. He goes to the front of the bus, loads it on the rack, then boards. All right driver!

2 Comments:

Anonymous Brenda said...

Dear Busboy,
I've missed you. My laptop died the death and I kept forgetting to ask my daughter for the url. Good to "see" you again. I just love waking up on Sunday knowing there will be a missive from you. :)

2:56 PM  
Blogger Busboy said...

Brenda, thank you for note. You made my day.

9:45 PM  

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