Sunday, August 30, 2015

BUS STORY # 460 (Shorts 41)

Seen among the PSAs on an ABQ RIDE bus. Photo by Busboy.


***

These days, a lot of girls are wearing jeans with worn-out areas on both thighs. But you can tell they’re fake. The areas are symmetrical, the edges aren’t raggedy, the mesh is nice and tight, and the jeans are dark blue. But this morning, there’s an old guy wearing the genuine article: faded out jeans with a pair of holes with ragged edges and the web of threads irregular and gapped. And the holes aren’t over his thighs, either. They’re under his back pockets.

***

A girl on crutches takes the bench seat in the front. She looks like a college kid. The guy across the aisle looks like he’s rounded 60. Full head of curly gray hair. Nicely dressed. He points to her scar, visible when her crop jeans rode above her knee when she sat down, and asks her how long since her surgery. A month. He tells her he had a replacement seven years ago. The guy sitting in the first row tells him he had both his knees done 12 years ago. They start trading stories: the 12-years guy had his done two weeks apart at UNMH; the seven-year guy at Pres, and both at the same time. They move on to share other surgical milestones. The girl, meanwhile, has pulled out a paper and pulled it close to her face. But I can see her face behind the paper, and she is grinning like she’s amused by these two old guys matching their surgeries with one another, and delighted to have been displaced from the conversation so early on.

***

Driver to the kids getting off at the stop for Cesar Chavez Community School:
“No fighting. No talking back. Straight A’s. And let the little guys in first, OK?”
Rider, after the kids have exited: “You think they’re gonna listen?”
Driver: “Well, somebody’s got to tell them. They’re not getting this at home, or else they wouldn’t be going to school here.”
Pause. Driver continues:
“I didn’t listen when I was their age. But I didn’t get in any serious trouble. I guess I did listen to my Mom some.”
Pause.
“My mom was the best, easy going…I was a rough kid.  But I didn’t kill anybody, never spent any time in jail.  I only got one ticket, when I was 18.”

***

The bus has taken on some passengers and is starting to pull away from the stop when a rider from the back calls out, “Someone is running!”  The driver stops.  Sure enough, a woman in a uniform of some kind goes running past our windows to the front door.  Two of us look at the rider who called out and say at the same time, “Nice catch.”  We all laugh, and the other rider adds, “We’ve all been there.


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