Sunday, February 01, 2015

BUS STORY # 430 (Shorts 39)

Riding the Red Line. Photo by Busboy.

The old guy sitting next to me reaches over and pulls the cord. When he gets to the back door, he calls out: “Thank you. Have a fun day and a fun weekend, with success everywhere.” And exits.

***

Our driver pulls into the stop past the intersection with Eubank. Some riders exit, some board, the doors close. The driver stays at the stop, engine running. After a minute or so, a woman stands up and shouts, “Why are you just sitting here?” The driver answers he’s running ahead of schedule and he’s trying to get back on schedule. “Let me off the bus,” she cries, and walks to the front. The driver opens the door. “I’m never gonna get anywhere on this bus,” she tells him as she exits.

***

The annunciator says we’re approaching Wyoming, stops near side, far side, and so on. The woman across the aisle raises her hand off the bar of the seat in front of her and pulls the cord. The bus pulls up to the stop. The woman starts gathering her things. There are a lot of things. She remains seated, pulling things from all around her and rearranging them, putting some in her backpack, pulling some stuff out. The driver waits, and not seeing anyone getting up, pulls out and into the intersection. “Wait wait wait,” yells the rider. But of course it is too late. The bus pulls into the stop on the far side of the intersection. The woman, who continues packing and unpacking and rearranging through the intersection, finally has her stuff together and walks to the front of the bus rather than the back. She pushes past the couple of people trying to board. Out on the sidewalk, she turns and gives the driver the finger.

***

We are at a stop when, through the front windshield, I see a man running down the sidewalk toward us and waving. He clearly means for us to wait for him. The driver waits. As he gets closer, I can see he’s tall and thin, with a long braid down his back. Jeans and a turquoise T-shirt with something on the front. He finally boards, and I can see he’s Native American. He stands at the till, breathing hard and rummaging through his pockets. The driver waits. The third time he checks his left pants pocket, he pulls out some change and begins dropping the coins, one by one, into the till. They must be nickels, I think. Finally, he’s done and he waits for the day pass to shoot out of the machine. When it does, he takes it and turns to walk down the aisle. Now I can see what’s written on his T-shirt, in large white letters: “I’m on Indian Time. I’m never late.”

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