Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Bus People

I have joined a "very exclusive" group of commuters who take the bus. Although it is, at times, dis-heartening and disgusting, smelly, and oMG WHAT IS THAT ON THE SEAT?!, I find that taking the bus gives me a certain smugness that I can take with me throughout the day, knowing that by not driving I am a much better steward of the earth than all my friends and fools out there driving their gas-guzzling, take up the entire road, beasts of vehicles.

You all suck, btw. And just so you know, the fastest way to make me fall into a year-long, eyeball-rolling induced coma is to bother me with some petty bullshit excuse about "needing the space because we have a car seat (elephant, drums, dead body)" to cart around. I have a two-door hatchback, am 6 marvelous feet tall, and have managed for years to cart around nieces and nephews, their car seats, and various child accoutrements with no difficulty. Yes, I had to push the front seat forward to get to the back, my gawd, I don't know how I managed. Also, I've had a lawn mower in my car. That still impresses me.

Anyway, riding the bus has given me a new perspective on things. Sometimes I ride the bus and really, really hate people. Sometimes there are evenings where I see simple acts of kindness. True, heart-stopping kindness, that make me a little verklempt. Sometimes there are beautifully odd moments that feel like a scene from a movie. Sometimes I almost burst out in laughter (more about old man Bob another day).

Today wasn't any of those. I ride one of two bus lines, depending on what I have going on after work. Today I hopped a popular line that is always full. I recognized the bus driver, a lady who is a bit too chatty, and is best friends with about half the people on the bus. When I got on it was standing room only, so I stood in the front by the driver, and got an up-close look at how absolutely distracted she is hurtling that bus down the road at frightening speeds. At one point she had almost disappeared underneath the steering wheel, trying to fish something out of her purse all while carrying on a conversation with another passenger.

Halfway along the route, we came up to a convenience store. On more than one occasion this bus driver has stopped the bus, hopped out, and gone in to get something to eat. This isn't uncommon on the Indy bus routes. I think the drivers have to take occasional breaks while working (once in a snow storm, the bus driver told us she had to pee, really, really bad, and hoped we wouldn't mind that she had to pull over.). Today as we rolled up, I "noticed" 5 cops cars in the parking lot, a man handcuffed, and a police officer sticking a cigarette in the cuffed man's mouth and lighting it. The bus driver pulled up and opened the door.

Bus Driver: Hey boo, what's going on?!!!

Cuffed Man: You tell ma mama, FUCK YOU!


Bus Driver: Aw no, fool, I ain't gonna say that to her.

Soon to be convicted felon: Nah, you tell her I said, FUCK YOU! (he never lost the cigarette in his mouth as he stood there cuffed and screaming)


Bus Driver: Aw, Boo, I'm gonna let her know what's up. I'll see you around. (really, really, you're gonna see him around?!!)

And then she continued on with the bus route, driving with her head below the dash, digging out her cell phone to call this man's mother.

"Hey, your boy is at the Super8 cuffed with cops all around him. I dunno what he did, but it don't look good. .."