Sunday, September 16, 2012

BUS STORY # 306 (The Superheroes Who Walk - And Ride - Among Us)

Homepage photo for the website TRANSiTMAN © 2007 Transitman by busboy4
Homepage photo for the website TRANSiTMAN © 2007 Transitman, downloaded from the website TRANSiTMAN. Photograph by Julie Ross.

Investigating the power of everyday actions, artist Christian French has discovered an unlikely venue for salvation: public transportation.

Exposed to freakish Bureaucratic Radiations while serving as Artist-in-Residence at Sound Transit, the mild-mannered artist was transformed into a rogue SuperHero with a mission to save the world by riding the bus.

SuperHeroism: the Adventures of TransitMan catalogues the artist’s/Hero’s experiences to date and explores the questions that face us all with regards to the choices we make on a daily basis. If it is possible to change the world through simple acts, do we then have an obligation to do so?

Before you answer, ask yourself  “Do I look good in Spandex?”


He boards, takes the bench seat behind the driver and in front of me.

He’s a big guy, in an even bigger gray T-shirt that covers most of his Los Angeles Lakers long shorts.  A blob of white knee between the shorts and the thick, rolled cuff of ribbed knee-highs.  White sneakers.  A Blue Tooth on his right ear. And a cap which captures my attention because it is a regular baseball cap without an adjustable band and without anything on the front.

He might be late 50s, early 60s.  Hard to tell, really.

He sets his tote bag on the empty seat beside him, then looks around, smiles at me, and extends his hand.

“How are you this morning?”

I tell him I’m fine, thank you, and ask back.

Oh, he’s busy.  Busy.  Got a lot to do this morning.

 First, he’s gotta go down to the University Hospital pharmacy to pick up some meds for his neighbor.  “That’ll be a zoo,” he says.

Then he’s gotta catch the 5 up to Menaul and catch the 8 to go pay his Comcast bill.

Then he’s gotta take the 8 to Eubank and wait for the 2 going south to Sam’s Club to pick up some other stuff his neighbor needs.

He needs to get all his shopping done before the 2 turns around and comes back to Sam’s Club, because if he misses that one, he’s gotta wait another hour for the next one.

He’ll take the 2 back up to Lomas where he can catch the 11 home.

He’s hoping he can get all this done before the afternoon.

Busy indeed.  I wish him good luck with that.

Shortly afterwards, a woman boards and takes the seat directly across from him.

He reaches out a hand, asks how she’s doing, and she asks back...

I don’t believe anybody raised on television and film would ever take this guy for a superhero, even though they are said to move among us in disguise.  Here’s a guy sounds like he might be somebody’s safety net, for no other reason than they are neighbors.  Makes me think twice about this guy and his particular disguise.

And if he does get all this done before the afternoon, well, he’s definitely some kind of  super.


The photo and introduction to this post were downloaded from the apparently (and sadly) defunct website TRANSiTMAN.


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