Drama: waiting for the bus

At that point, I’d stopped thinking about her until she rapped on the glass of her porch.

cdta_bus_10_downtown_albany1) This happened a few months ago: Getting out of church, I had just missed the previous bus home by seconds, and I had a 20-minute wait, so I sat to read a newspaper in the bus kiosk. There’s a young woman sitting nearby, 20ish, reasonably attractive, and either Hispanic, light-skinned black or maybe Italian.

This young white guy comes over to her, detailing some mournful story of woe, noting how he “needed” someone to talk with. “Could I talk with you?”

“My boyfriend wouldn’t like that.” “We’d just be talking.” But she shut him down, harshly, and he walked to the other end of the kiosk.

Then the boyfriend arrives, and she tells him, in great deal, what had just transpired. Pointing to the guy, “You mean that white n***** over there?”

After she confirms, he goes at it verbally with the other guy, whose apology goes unheeded, until his bus finally arrives.

Wow. An unnecessary escalation of the situation, AND a totally different understanding of the N-word from mine.

2) This happened a couple of weeks ago.

Going to work, I rode my bike from my house to a place I catch a bus. As I approach the stop, I see a bus go by. Is it my bus to Corporate Woods, or the other bus that goes in a different direction?

My ride leaves downtown at 8:03, but takes a few minutes to get to where I am. I ride onto the sidewalk and straddle my bike while getting my cellphone from my backpack. It’s off – it’s almost always off unless I’m using it – so it takes a few seconds to warm up.

The woman from the doorway of the front enclosed porch, who is black, yells to me, “Get off my sidewalk with that bike.” “I’m just checking the time.” “Get that bike off my walk, b****!” I repeat my response, but she escalates hers.

So now I know I haven’t missed the bus – it’s only 8:05, so I get off my bike and start walking, maybe 0.3 mph, to just past the property line, where the bus stop is, and I stop and wait, while she’s busy screaming at her two kids, a girl maybe 10 and a boy perhaps seven.

At that point, I’d stopped thinking about her until she rapped on the glass of her porch and gave me the middle finger salute, which I ignored, as my bus pulled up. She watched me as I put my bike on the bus before it took off.

I’d been to the stop before and never encountered that person. I went back the next day but didn’t see her. Did she even live there, or was she some crazy relative who was just visiting?

Was she really upset that I had the bike nowhere near either the walkway or the driveway, or was something else was afoot? Maybe she thought I was a drug dealer (the gray-haired guy on a bike) or she didn’t like my red and white striped shirt, which looks pink at a distance. I’m just spitballing.

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

4 thoughts on “Drama: waiting for the bus”

  1. I’m convinced people are getting meaner and less civil. Or more correctly, they are choosing to act that way. I don’t know why and it makes me sad.

  2. I’ve seen so much uncivil ‘acting-out,’ it makes me sad. Makes me not want to leave my apartment. Why do we have to call each other names? The amount of road rage I see is also disheartening. I try to be kind, to say hello and smile and to keep it moving. I’m looked at with real disgust and hatred from adults in my neighborhood and I notice it in children also. We’re all just trying to get through the day, but there’s so much fear of each other–so much spiritual unrest sown in our streets and over social media–disturbing.

  3. We seem to be losing any sense of community. A brouhaha over a troubled man speaking to the wrong woman, a woman making a federal case over a bike on a sidewalk. Both instances say, “I’m miserable and I’m gonna make you miserable, too.” And have you noticed on the bus, people will no longer sit next to strangers. Most people will stand rather than sit down next to someone else. And often people will take the aisle seat, leaving the window seat vacant, and will not cheerfully yield to somebody who does want to sit down next to them. It’s sad and I do not understand why it’s happening. But it sure is not good.

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