Sunday, February 19, 2017

Greener over there

Another week on the 34, and the bus with the nonfunctional wheelchair ramp returns. It was fixed the last time I had it, but this morning it won't cooperate. Like the last time, we'll go into service and get it fixed on the road.

The mornings have been rainy lately, and it continues this day. When the weather's clear, flocks of vultures perch atop the median light poles along the Coral Springs segment. Today a lone vulture is all I can see.

Our first eastbound a man with a bandage on his nose boards after loading his bike on the rack. Slides a dollar in the box and just before exiting asks for an emergency pass for the next bus. (Amazingly, I would pick him up again on the next eastbound at exactly the same spot he got on the first time. Déjà vu.)

Approaching Riverside Drive, there was a man in a tie dye shirt dancing at the bus stop. He didn't want the bus, as the young lady who boarded there explained.
"He's admiring asses, so he's excited." Apparently she'd gotten to know this man with the shaved head and toothless smile while waiting for the bus.
"Wonder what he's on." She pondered aloud.

It's the morning rush and we're getting slammed this trip: heavy ridership, heavy traffic, too many red lights. Road service for the wheelchair ramp came to the rescue as well, and got that glitch resolved. By now we were a good 12 minutes down and not likely to make it up with the Military Trail/Tri-Rail choke point still ahead. Not sure if we had a leader that trip, but by the end I was nearly on my follower's time.

We left the east layover a couple minutes down but soon got back on track. Out by the Turnpike we passed a kelly green Rolls Royce, a real eye catcher in the shadows of Mt. Trashmore.

Our next trip the regulars appear. One panhandles at Powerline until his retirement kicks in. He's got the best bike on the rack and is paranoid about it getting scratched by other bikes put on too hastily. Today he thinks bus drivers have it easy.
"When that sun is cookin' I'd rather drive the bus 10 hours a day than spend 2 to 5 hours outside."
   'Be careful what you wish for.'
"You're in the a/c."
   'It's a different kind of stress.'
"You're out there next to those hot engines..."
I had to capitulate after that nugget, being familiar with the heat sink of the street, only intensified by the furnace of a hot engine. He did get lucky in the sun sometimes, like the day before when someone handed him a winning scratch-off.

The other regular is our friend with the book about getting lost. Today he informs me he's going through the process to be a substitute teacher for the county. Did his fingerprints, going through a background check, etc. Wants to teach high school though he graduated only a few years before. Then dejection set in when he remembered another passenger telling him not to do it because the students wouldn't take him seriously. I encouraged him to go for it anyway, and nevermind the naysayers.

We don't need to have everything working perfectly before we get started. We can stop as we go and fix things along the way. The journey has many destinations along the way, but we won't get there without starting in the first place.

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