Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Getting caught

An early morning express run on the agenda, I deadheaded to the BB&T Center for a tripper to Miami. On 595 there was a horrific accident closing down the east bound lanes and traffic was already backing up for miles. This was going to create a problem when I went into service. Fortunately the road supervisor developed a detour for us and we got to take a rare scenic-route trip on surface roads to the Davie Park & Ride. So while the buses ahead of us gave radio updates of their progress crawling through the accident scene, we bypassed the mess and made good time.

The afternoon piece on the 50 wasn't meant to run as smooth. A detour around the line crews closing lanes would have been nice, but that wasn't an option as we inched our way along.

A passenger came up to me wanting 10th Street in Deerfield. With Spanish accent he said he was from Miami and hadn't been in this part of Broward in 15 years. He looked lost as he commented how everything changed. I had to agree with him, though that stretch of road probably hasn't changed in decades. Sure, signage changes, businesses come and go, landscaping gets replaced - but the physical buildings on Dixie are stuck in a time warp untouched by the rapid gentrification on other thoroughfares. Change is good and necessary and unavoidable, but there's a simple reassurance knowing some places aren't turned upside down and torn down. It anchors the roots as the tree spreads upward and outward, successive years adding expanding rings of hardwood to withstand the stormy times.

Something was in the air that day as another passenger, a woman in scrubs wandered up front, scanning out the window with a dazed look. She was from New Jersey and lost. Were the scrubs the uniform of an exhausted nurse or an inpatient?

We hit the end of the line and headed back south, passing Satchmo's BBQ on 4th St, with his enormous smoker set up on the front lawn of an abandoned shell of a house. The smoke of comfort food is a welcome sight and smell on this lonely street, mostly populated by the ghosts of Pineview Cemetery. A couple love taps on the horn and up goes the master cook's arm in waving response.

Our next northbound we got slammed. The bus was extremely full, presumably from my leader running a few minutes hot. That meant I was picking up people waiting for the previous bus, which leads to complaints about the bus being late though we were actually on time.

The trip after that things got really bogged down. Traffic was congesting and we kept getting later until my follower caught me. It doesn't help anybody to have buses bunched up, so I got instructions to drop off only and put some space between us.

The following trip the tables were turned when I caught my leader and she went into drop off mode.

At Sample a nurse in scrubs boarded after a long shift.
"Save any lives today?," I asked.
"Just one," she replied with a satisfied smile.
"That's enough."

Finally, we pull in to the north layover for our last trip and the rhymers are waiting.
"What's the con, Don?" The young one threw out there.
"How you like the hat, Matt?" The older gentleman tossed up while profiling his classy headwear.
I couldn't drop the ball this time and had to up my game.
"Keep it loose, Bruce."

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