Snowy Colfax

  The dirty old street is covered in snow.The old houses turned into apartments have smoke coming from the rooftops as ice hangs from the gutters.People are in a mixture of moods ranging from docile to heightened to agitated.You can smell the different aromas of different foods being cooked from the various restaurants as I open the door to the bus at each stop…
  People are on their best behavior on snow days.It is a long walk or wait for the next bus in the cold so no one wants the boot into the dreary weather.No one expects us to be on time necessarily either.Needless to say,these are the most laid back days.
  I was actually on time all day today.I got all my layover breaks and had a rather good day.At the light of Peoria and Colfax heading west there was a man sitting by me.He was tall,looked weathered and was in his early sixties.He had a light mocha colored skin and shabby clothes that didn’t appear to really protect him for the weather.
“Hey,mister bus driver,how do I get to Jesus Saves?The homeless shelter?How do I get there from your bus?”
I explained the routing.
“Thank you,mister bus driver.Thank you.”He said and we both sat there,both steeped in a weird boredom.After a moment as the light turned green he said,”I used to play with lots of different bands.I used to play with Earth Wind and Fire,is a bitch what coke can do to you.”and we both started laughing.
  I’ve had him on my bus over the years.He used to have a wife he rode with.She looked older than him,long gray hair and pale almost transparent white skin and she used a walker.He was always so attentive to her.She passed away a couple of years ago.I actually remembered them from three years ago looking for a good place to eat on Colfax.He told me money was no object and they talked excitingly about going out.I referred them to Bastien’s.I have seen him also over the past couple of years here and there.
  We started talking after his ice breaker.We both loved music and talked a lot about jazz and 50’s and 60’s rock.We talked about the instruments we loved.He pointed out places where he played.I found myself really enjoying our conversation.As we made our way onto 15th Street I saw his bus to the shelter,the route 48.I tried to catch up to it,but it had left the stop.I called dispatch.Normally on snow days we don’t do courtesy waits,but I told them I had an elderly gentleman needing to get to Jesus Saves before 5:00 and asked can they please please hold that bus on 16th Street mall for him.I stopped on the corner of 15th and Curtis street before the actual stop and we said goodbye to each other.I saw him rush to the bus as I shut the door and made my way to Auraria.It dawned on me how much I liked talking to him,and that though I’ve seen him for many years that was the first time we really talked.I may not see him or talk to him for another few years or again,who knows if we’ll cross paths…This job is funny like that…People just come and go,but we always remember where we left them off….


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