Time has come today….

  After some years of being a bus driver you start to notice people and the changes they go through…For instance there was this one gentleman whom rides regularly. He is a college student and very young.When he first started riding he was very masculine, his clothes reminded me of 90’s skateboarders…Then you start to notice the change.For two years now I’ve watched him grow into himself.
  Two years have gone by and I’ve seen him change into another aspect of himself.There are no parents around…
There is no one to tell him who to be.He had become a full fledged homosexual.I watched his transition into his own identity take place each day right in front of me.
   Over the years I’ve seen a lot of transitions in people.I’ve seen people become junkies.There is this one guy who used to own a construction company.He would ride the bus because of medical issues.At one point his wife left him.He used to be very clean,groomed and everyday he’d tell a corny funny joke when he boarded.He was a short,round man,white,with sort of a mullet going on.He’d start conversations with people and he was otherwise jolly.
  Shortly after his wife left him I started noticing more and more him getting on the bus with beer and vodka (not opened of course).It went from a can here and there and a bottle every few days to a case everyday and a bottle everyday.I’d talk to him and ask how he was doing.One day after he opened up to me about certain things I pleaded with him to get help.I even recommended some good services to seek out.
  Over the course of time I noticed he lost a lot of weight.His appearance was more disheveled.He was a lot less jolly and a lot more methy….He would make phone calls looking for drugs,out loud on the bus.Somedays when he got on his eyes would look like they were bulging out of his head.His clothes were dirty.He was always agitated.One day I actually had to kick him off the bus for trying to pick a fight with some teenagers.Then after a bit I didn’t see him for a year.When I did,he was on a street corner with a sign asking for money.I barely recognized him.
   I used to get this one guy.He was Hispanic,young,early twenties.He was always high on heroin.Sometimes he’d try to get on the bus like he was a zombie.His motor skills being off,his eyes half closed and rolling back in his head.He couldn’t even make it up the steps.He probably had just shot up in the alley.After some failed attempts to board he’d laugh insanely and give up.He go curl up against the building on the sidewalk and pass out.Naive people would think he was sick.Everyone else knew he just needed to sleep it off,otherwise we all have other places to go.
  I didn’t see him for a year.Appearantly he got caught in a burglary.He spent some time in jail.Then transfered to rehab.Then back out into the world and on my bus.It was strange seeing him sober.For a bit he seemed overwhelmed and anxious a lot.He was actually really funny when he was sober.The more we talked the more I liked him.He got a job.Then an apartment.Then a girlfriend.He seemed really happy.He came a long way from this dirty street kid sleeping on the sidewalk to this young man who was getting his life together.I still see him a lot.
   Everyday when we are out there as bus drivers we come to know all of you in one way or another.When we are pulling into the stop we already know what you are going to generally do before you even board.We have sized you up before we even open the door.Part of it is a defense mechanism,part of it curiosity.Mostly we are just preparing for whatever it is we need to say and do that will keep the bus rolling,to keep heading down that dilapidated old street to whatever fate it is that awaits you and your story as you walk through the doors and onto that grimy old pavement….

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