Sunday, March 06, 2016

BUS STORY # 487 (“Demons Don’t Fight Demons”)

Downloaded from Cosas

Both of us get off the Red Line and head around the corner to the bench to wait for the eastbound 11. My co-rider points to the westbound coming towards us and says that means we have ten minutes before our bus comes.

I sit. He stands. He regards the Burger King sign across the street and tells me how Burger King will give him his ribs “FOB” which they won’t do at McDonald’s.

I look puzzled.

Fresh off the broiler, he explains.

He tells me how his family is in the restaurant business.

And the car business.

And the detailing business.

That last is where he’s coming from now.

“Where Microsoft started,” he says. Then, “one-oh-nine California.”

I have no idea if any of what he’s telling me is true. I know Bill Gates and Paul Allen started Microsoft somewhere here in the city, but I have no idea where. Maybe he’s making all this up, but maybe he’s not. You really never know.

Three other people join us from the northbound 157.

He’s talking about Chinese food, how it’s good whether it’s hot or cold. Then he talks about the “smoked chicken” you can get at Golden Pride.

The bus comes, sure enough, right on that ten minutes.

We all head for the door. It’s one of the 300s, and when the doors open, a kid from the 157 heads for the stairs. Next thing, we hear the driver shouting, “What’s the matter with you? Can’t you hear?”

The kid says, “No, ma’am, I didn’t hear anything.”

“I guess not,” she fires back.

By now, we can see the wheelchair lift ascending from below, and so we all know there’s a rider in a chair getting ready to get off. But I didn’t hear the usual beep beep beep either.

He tells the driver she doesn’t have to be so rude about it.

She tells him she can refuse to let him board for giving her lip.

My co-rider moves quickly over to the kid.

“Let it ride. Let it ride. It ain’t worth it.”

The kid looks like he doesn’t really want to let it ride, but just for an instant. My co-rider is an older black guy and I think the kid, who’s white, gets that this guy may have more street smarts than he does. Good for him.

I tell the kid I didn’t hear the signal, either.

Then my co-rider tells him this is a sign he’s in God’s favor. Those are the folks the Demon goes after. “Demons don’t fight demons,” he explains.

The kid has no idea what to make of this last, but he is clearly distracted from what happened with the driver.

After the lift is back in place, my co-rider goes in front of the kid, telling him he’ll run interference for him, everything is gonna be fine.

I follow him, prepared to intervene if she gives the kid any more trouble. She doesn’t, and we all ride home in peace.

That night, I google detailing shops in Albuquerque. Not a one comes up on California. I google “Microsoft in Albuquerque.” I come up with 199 California St, NE.

Maybe I misheard.

***

A few weeks later, I hop the westbound 66 to California. Here’s what I find at the end of the 100 block:

Photo by Busboy

Photo by Busboy


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