From time to time when it’s too cold or wet to scoot into work, my car’s in the shop or some other calamity, I take the bus to work. We have mass transit here in C-town, it’s adequate, it gets me there… eventuallly.
I have bus choices, the 25X and the dreaded 24.
The 25x is the Mt Lookout Express, it picks me up two blocks a way, it’s almost always on time. It’s filled with my neighbor types, business folks that work 9 to 5, downtown, some suits but mostly mid level or lower worker bees, like myself. They were dressed for the weather, snowpacalapse boots, Eddie Bauer parkas with matching gloves. All have
iPhones or better, most are reading the news on their tablets or FBin. These people do not avoid eye contact, they say Hi, if you want to chat they will. It cruises down Delta and takes Columbia Pkwy-straight into town…easy peeezy. 17 minutes, boom, I’m a block away from my office on 7th. Now Monday was an aboration, Columbia was closed due to idiot SUVs driving too fast and smacking into the retaining walls like expensive bob sleds. So we detoured on to Riverside Drive(my preferred scooter route). It was bumper to bumper going but it moved along.
I could ride this bus everyday, I wish it had one more run, say at 8:45 verses 7:45.
Today I rode the late bus, the 24-Mt Washington/Mt Lookout/Uptown/Mt Auburn/Downtown. It’s a tough bus. It is by noway near express, it kinda sneaks up on downtown. The 8:45 is a garage bus to know where So I’m forced to thane the 9:27. It is a popular and diverse, jam packed, hay ride of humanity. It also picks me up two blocks from my house then takes me the long way to work via the Uptown Hospital area. The 24 is a crazy mixture of nurses and other hospital workers, UC students late for class, friendly urban folks transferring to who knows where. Nobody even glances at me, heaven forbid if I attempt to drum up a conversation. I’m not imposing, at least I think I’m not. I noticed on my 50 minute excursion that nobody is looking out for anyone but themselves. An elderly lady with a cain gets on, there are no apparent seats, nobody pops up immediately. I’m like 5 rows back from the front sideways seats(you know the ones for the elderly). I jumped up, walked up to the lady to offer my seat. But before I could get to her, the bus driver stopped the bus to yell at the college kid in the sideways seat. She looks at me like I’m an animal. The UC kid slide over and let the old lady sit down and I go back to my seat with my tail between my legs. I’m thinking, what the hell is wrong with these people. We get to UC med center and half the bus empty’s out. The lady gets out and slips on the ice, she doesn’t go down but catches herself with her cain. I’m sitting there on a now half full bus, feeling totally alone. So I put my headphones on, turn on some jazz and zone out. The rest of the ride was uneventful. The drive down Liberty Hill is quite beautiful.
I don’t really have a point to make here, friends, other than this.
We need to start looking out for each other, we need to start talking to the strangers around us. Talk about the weather, talk about our kids, our jobs, anything, everything. So the next time you are sitting on a bus and someone catches your eye, look back, say hi. I promise to give your your space or talk about the weather, your choice.