Sunday, September 15, 2013

BUS STORY # 358 (Rudy)

bus_drawing by asterisktom
bus_drawing, a photo by asterisktom on Flickr.

The San Mateo is jammed this morning.  I see an empty aisle seat right in front and nab it.

“It’s a full house this morning,” I say to my seat mate.

He agrees and says he doesn’t know why it’s so full today.  We wonder if an earlier bus broke down or was in an accident, and if our bus is doing double duty.

“You goin’ to work?”

I tell him I am.

He asks me where I work, and how long I’ve worked there.

After I fill him in, he tells me he’s out of work right now, and asks if my company is hiring.

I really don’t know.  I ask where’s he’s heading right now.

He’s taking his son to school.  He nods at the bench seat in front of us.  A good-looking, clean-cut middle-schooler gives us a shy grin.

“I’m Rudy,”* he says, offering me his hand.

I shake, give him my name, and ask him what kind of work he does.

He says what’s he’s good at is drawing.  He’s just finished doing a portrait of someone he knows and it turned out really good.  He’s thinking of going back to school to get his GED, then seeing what there is for drawing and art.

I ask what he uses now.

Pencil, charcoal, pastel chalks.  He’s never worked with oil, but he’d like to.

He says he’s been drawing ever since he can remember.  “I’m really good.”

That last doesn’t sound like bragging or salesmanship. It sounds instead like an affirmation of something he’s come to learn deep inside.

I ask him what he would like to be doing as an artist.

“Portraits,” he answers.
When we reach his stop, I wish him luck.


*Real name changed.


The photo at the top of this story is titled “bus_drawing” © All Rights Reserved, and is posted with the permission of asterisktom. You can see all asterisktom’s photos on Flickr here.


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