Scattered chatter

  Before I start each trip I take a moment.I do a quick prayer with my Saint Christopher around my neck.
More for the safety of my passengers.
One never knows what’s coming…In essence we are travelers.We spend our days venturing through different neighborhoods and downtown.We are never in one spot.It’s been almost twelve years since I’ve worked in a building or office setting…To be honest after what I’ve dealt with in this job for that many years I don’t know how I’d react to some petty office squabble…
  I start the bus and clear my thoughts.I let go of personal issues and open the door to my first passengers. I greet everyone that boards.I offer a smile.Sometimes I’m greeted back or ignored.Either way I keep moving.I try to keep discrepancies short and quiet.As the bus moves I see the places I used to hang out at or places that have replaced my past.I see people as they board and I look through them.I can imagine their homes or lack of.I can imagine where they are going or coming from.When they board with little money I can see where they are in life,especially when they have children with them…I try to keep moving and keep harmony.Somtimes the ones that disrupt the harmony have to be removed.
  In my mind my favorite songs play.At times they create a strange theme or soundtrack to what’s going on or who is boarding…I find my mood affects everyone who is riding.When I’m in a good mood everyone seems to feel it.When I’m in a bad mood the bus is quiet.We are all surrounded by each other in this mobile social study.My songs blare over the chatter.It can get overwhelming being in that driver’s seat.Orchestrating a chaos of people.At times I feel like a teacher scolding a student. “You can’t do that, Charlie.Go to time out.”The songs in my head get louder.
  Colfax is a very historical and interesting street.It’s old dirty charm…The dust of the gutters has an aroma that clings to your clothes.The people are in their own way iconic and their originality makes my day beam and at times angry.I am grateful to be part of it,from it,and driving it…I welcome all,come for a ride…

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Public transportation is picking up random strangers…

  The essence of the job day to day for me is driving up and down East Colfax and picking up every random person that wants a ride.Ask yourself, would you do this in your car?Would you stop every couple blocks and pick up some random strangers?After awhile it wears off that’s what you’re doing because it becomes part of your job and day to day life.After awhile you just don’t think on those terms anymore.You just board everyone and hope it goes well.
  If you are a person who is very judgemental you won’t last long. It’ll soon enough drive you crazy peeking at these people’s lives.You’ll have a full window all day into world’s you’ve either never known about or escaped from.Or are part of.Regardless,as a bus driver you can’t dwell on who is doing what,no matter your belief system.You can’t look down on anyone.Of course you can in the back of your mind shake your head at the way some people live their life when it effects you.Like when they are alcoholics and they board with aggressive behavior,because they just became your problem.Or when they are some inconsiderate asshole boarding with music blasting from their phone and they refuse to turn it off…they just became your problem.
  All in all in our minds as bus drivers is to just hope people get on with their fare and sit down without drama or issues and let us just get to the end without issues.When people say we are grumpy assholes,they don’t consider before they boarded they didn’t see the guy calling us “nigger” or “bitch” to our face because they decided we are supposed to let them ride for free or with an open beer.You are supposed to pay for your fare just as you are supposed to pay the 7-11 clerk for whatever you’re buying.It’s really just as simple as that.Yes,sometimes there are situations that call for exception,and I’m more than willing to help in these situations, but listen carefully…we can see through bullshit like you can see through water.We get it all day…All freaking day…We know exactly who you are before we even open the door.This job has opened us up to human behavior on a level you’ll never understand unless you do it.The next time you think a bus driver is a jerk,stop and think about being in our place and what we may just have experienced before you judge…Picking up strangers off the street is not by far the easiest life.But we do it because we are bad ass enough to handle it.