Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Say you're ok

Early morning bus operators don't start bright and early, they start dark and early. The weekend shift on University Drive came with a predawn report time and light traffic on the way to my start point. Accompanied by the thinnest sliver of moon in the east I made my way to Westview Drive in Coral Springs. Off we went, smooth as could be down to 207th St in Miami Gardens, in the shadow of Dolphins Stadium (or as we'll always call it: Joe Robbie Stadium). The earlier trips take less time but you've got to expect it's gonna take awhile to get from the top of Broward County down to the top of Dade County; this trip would take just over 1 1/2 hours, later trips take close to 2 hours.

The way back up included a visit from a waitress regular who zoomed into the stop on her bike just ahead of the bus. She was the fun aunt today, picking up her young nephews way up the line.

A three car accident outside the Coral Square Mall somehow found two of the cars up on the median.

After the wreck, it was nice to see someone on our next trip who had it together. The multi-color embroidery on her fine blouse of deep violet complemented her Trini complexion. We said our greetings, and she continued, half to me and half to herself.
"You gotta say you're ok even if you're not. Gotta fake it till you make it."
There was a crack in the manicured facade of Coral Springs here. It was refreshing to be reminded by this woman's basic revelation in the land of perfection that all that glitters is not gold.

The south end of the route has its own lived-in flavor, far from the lush satisfaction of the north. A mobile juicer in his red pick up roams the streets, the battered bed loaded with sugar cane stalks poking upward over a mound of coconuts.

A single-engine plane takes off from North Perry Airport, unfurling an enormous orange banner to advertise in the sky.

All routes change along the way, and these longer routes change more than most, especially with the weather. A dry broil around the county line gave way to monsoon conditions from Davie to Ft. Lauderdale. It was tapering off but still drizzly when we got to Joe's Crab at 44th St in Lauderhill. A somber figure draped under a towel stood at the stop, dripping under the clouds. The face of a young man emerged out of the improvised umbrella as he boarded, discouraged and resigned to the whims of Mother Nature: "This was my beach towel..."

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