Sunday, September 06, 2015

BUS STORY # 461 (Patricia Just Left Chicago)

Chicago Transit Authority bus; downloaded from the U.S. Dept. of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration.

I’m sitting in the shelter, just waiting for the bus. A woman walks to the stop, turns around and looks back up the street, then stands in front of the other end of the bench.

She says normally, she’d walk, but it’s really hot and she thinks she’ll just wait for the bus right here.

She’s trim, with a short Afro and wraparound sunglasses. Modest tank top, shorts and sandals. A tattoo of the pink breast cancer awareness ribbon above her left breast. A script tattoo along her right neck.

She doesn’t sit. She tells me she would sure appreciate the kind of summer breeze that comes off the lake in Chicago right about now.

That’s where she’s from. She’s been here five months now, making up for lost time. She tells me it was the fear of losing her daughter that galvanized her into getting herself together and back into her daughter’s life. Her daughter’s 16 now, and she moved here with her mom. Mom is getting back into her son’s life now, and determined to be a real grandmother.

Her son has two jobs -- one for each of his girls, she says. The first girl is his from his first marriage; the second is a step-daughter from his second marriage.

She tells me how the 6-year-old just had two birthdays, because the family of the ex can’t stand the family of the second wife. So each family throws the older grandchild separate birthday parties.

She shakes her head. It’s just like Cain and Abel, in the Bible, she tells me. I’m not sure about the analogy, but I get the idea that the two families don’t get along even though the older daughter is part of both families.

She tells me that between the two families and her, those girls are well looked after. And she’s glad she’s a young grandmother -- she’s only 54 -- because she can get right down on the ground and play with them.

A car rolls by, and a kid leans out the window and yells, “Hey!” The car starts to slow.

“That’s my son!” she exclaims. She starts off toward the car, then turns back and sticks out her hand.

“My name’s Patricia,”* she says. “What’s yours?”

I tell her, and she says “I enjoyed talking with you.” Then she heads over to her son’s car.


*Real name changed.


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