The blind guy on the bus

“You want to stop here, don’t you?”

blind guyA blind guy was crossing the grocery store parking lot pushing a shopping cart. A grocery store employee was pulling the cart through the light snow from the front. They get to back of the bus stop, and the store worker puts the four bags inside the kiosk. Then he leads the visually impaired fellow into the kiosk, indicating that the food is sitting on a couple seats.

I tell the blind guy that the #1 bus is coming. That bus costs $1.50, whereas the charge for the express #905 is $2. It didn’t matter since he has a CDTA Navigator card. Still, I stall the driver briefly. In general, I try not to assist people with disabilities unless they specifically ask, if they are endangering themselves, or if they’ll be left behind.

I get on. The blind guy gets on. I tell him there is an empty seat to his right. He starts sitting on the occupied seat to his left, which IS the right side of the bus. That guy just moved to the other side. I apologize to that fellow. He says it was no big deal. Besides, he shares, his mom is legally blind.

Connectedness

And I realize that I like that human interaction, that little connectedness with another person. That same day, a bus driver I hadn’t seen in a several years said “hi” to me. I used to see him frequently when I was taking my daughter, now in high school, to preschool. That’ll give you some idea how long ago it was.

I tend to go to the checkout counter at the grocery store rather than the self-serve machine. It’s not that I’m trying to specifically save the clerks’ job. I just like the interplay. Sometimes, it’s mutual. Recently, I was picking up a few items, precariously balanced in my hands. An unbusy woman at a checkout counter said, “You want to stop here, don’t you?” Why, I hadn’t intended to, but I guess I did.

Usually, I’m quite content to use my banks’ ATMs. But I do see tellers at my credit union because – and this is sad – my wife and I don’t HAVE a debit card there. One snowy day, there were three unoccupied tellers and they practically fought for the opportunity to serve me. I enjoyed the fuss.

Yeah, I do love that human interaction, and the need may be greater now that I am unemployed. I mean, retired.