Sunday, September 01, 2013

BUS STORY # 356 (God Bless)

A HOSTILE...GOD BLESS!!! by jahat
A HOSTILE...GOD BLESS!!!, a photo by jahat on Flickr.

I’m heading for a stop on San Mateo when I see there’s another rider sitting on the bench inside the shelter. Young kid, in a faded black sweatshirt and paint-spattered jeans.

I sit on the other end of the bench and pull out a magazine.

A couple of minutes later, I notice he gets up and leaves. I keep reading.

Another couple of minutes, and he’s back and sitting down.

I look over, puzzled. He’s sitting there like nothing happened.

I go back to my magazine, but I notice when he gets up the second time and leaves the shelter. I watch him walk to the intersection where he stops and turns around to face the traffic. He unfolds a cardboard sign, then starts moving back toward the shelter, moving slowly past the cars waiting for the red light to turn green.

The sign says, “Need help to get a room tonight. God bless.”

When the light turns green and the traffic is moving, he folds up the cardboard sign and returns to the bench.

I watch him work the stoplight maybe half a dozen times. He gets two hits.

I look at the faces of the people who are handing him money through their car windows, and I try imagining what they are thinking, what is it that has moved them to give money to this kid.

After the second hit, he does not return to the bench. He goes back to the intersection instead and waits for the light. Then he crosses San Mateo and walks on down Lomas.

I go back to my magazine.

In a while, I see my bus coming. I roll up my magazine and get up to go stand at the curb. That’s when I see the kid again, across the street and walking south. He’s got a white fast food wrapper in one hand and a soft drink cup in the other.

The bus comes between us, and I board. By the time we reach Constitution, I understand that all I’ve got of this story is what I saw.

__________


The photo at the top of this story is titled "A HOSTILE...GOD BLESS!!!" © All Rights Reserved, and is posted with the permission of jahat. You can see all jahat’s photos on Flickr here.

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