Sunday, February 13, 2011

BUS STORY # 223 (Sarah, Part One)

back to basics #3, originally uploaded by mugley.

I met Sarah* at the bus stop. We’d both worked late and were waiting for the 6 p.m. No. 50.

We got to talking and discovered we both got home by transferring to the No. 11. When I explained I either walked across the UNM campus to catch the 11, or else walked down to The Frontier to catch the Red Line to Lomas, she told me she just rode downtown and transferred at the Alvarado.

She didn’t realize that, starting with the six o’clock, the 50 doesn’t go downtown. It turns around at Central and Yale and heads for the Yale Depot. This is when I learned she’d just started riding the bus.

After explaining how the schedule works, I offered to walk with her to The Frontier and get off with her at Lomas. Once she was on the 11, I knew she’d be more comfortable. I’m not sure she completely believed me until the 50 turned west on Lead.

Once she knew she wasn’t going to be going downtown this particular night, she took me up on my offer. She confided the street life on Central made her uneasy. I understood I was the less fearful alternative to going it alone.

Then she wanted to know how far The Frontier was. She told me she was suffering from altitude sickness and was having a lot of trouble getting her breath when she had very far to walk.

I told her we only had to walk a couple of blocks, and we would go as slow as she needed. Slow going it was. A Red Line passed us while we were crossing the intersection near The Satellite. She was mildly winded when we got to the station, but not in any distress.

We waited about 10 minutes for the Rapid Ride, then waited at Lomas and Louisiana another 15 for the 11. Her stop was past Eubank.

Altogether, that gave us better than an hour together. In that hour, Sarah told me much of her story. I got most of it by asking questions. Over time, she began to answer more expansively. Still, there were too many questions that didn’t have time to get asked. But what she did share with me was remarkable.

When I began writing this out, I tried combining the details of our ride together with the story Sarah shared with me during that ride. It made the story too long and too disrupted. So now that I’ve explained how I met Sarah, next week I’ll tell the rest of the story -- Sarah’s story.


*Real name changed.

The photo at the top of this story is titled “back to basics #3” and is posted with the kind permission of mugley. You can see this and all mugley’s photos on Flickr at:


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I look forward to the rest of the story. BBBH

10:40 AM  

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