Sunday, March 27, 2016

BUS STORY # 490 (Shorts 45)

Photo by Busboy


***

Very tall, very thin, older black man gets on the bus and takes the bench seat behind the driver. Jeans, black UNM sweatshirt, Dallas Cowboys cap. The Latino guy in the first row seat leans forward. Brown knit cap, gray Nike jacket with a stained hoodie, faded jeans. The black guy suddenly recognizes him and laughs. They bump. They ask each other how they’re doing, then launch into their latest experiences with their street mission work with the homeless and newly-released prisoners. Their joyful enthusiasm is palpable.

***

Skinny white guy, gray beard, dressed all in black, on a cell phone when I take a seat on the bus stop bench. When he finishes, he walks over and asks me if I’ve ever had one of those days where nothing goes right. I tell him I have. Then he tells me it took him 55 years to figure out that the day after is always a great day. Every time. Without fail. So he’s just gonna gut out the rest of this day because there’s no telling what’s gonna happen good for him tomorrow. He may go out to the casino, win two hundred thousand dollars. Maybe meet a lady. He’s ready for whatever else is gonna fall on him the rest of the day because tomorrow’s gonna be great!

***

The woman with the big dark sunglasses is explaining she’s just had cataract surgery. She says they’ve put a lens in which lets her see far. Next month, they’re doing the other eye and putting in a lens which lets her see near. Then she won’t ever need glasses again. She doesn’t know why they don’t perform this surgery on children. They’d never need glasses. What about vision changes, I ask. She says they can adjust the lenses with computers. “They can adjust the heart with computers, right? Why not eyes?” She wonders if the eyeglass industry is blocking this progress.

***

We’re between bus stops on Juan Tabo when we pass a girl running in the same direction. She’s has a ponytail and is wearing a day-glow green backpack. The driver slows the bus, pulls over, and stops. When the girl passes by the front door, she slows. The driver calls out, “Are you running for the bus?” No, she’s just running. “Oh. OK.” We all continue on. A rider in the front tells the driver, “I thought she was trying to catch the bus, too.” So did I. I was going to thank the driver for stopping, but a ton of people were getting on at my stop, so I just waved and exited the back door. Thank you, driver.


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