Tuesday, July 18, 2017

We get around

One early evening on the 60, filling in an empty slot for a few hours, waiting to pull out for my final trip of the day. Two minutes before pull out, a man pulled up in front of the bus on his bike, brakes squealing, he panting heavily from his successful bus catch. The heat of the day was still lingering, leaving sweat splotches on his t-shirt with Marines logo to match his ball cap. Though his bike wheels were still, he was still racing and ready to talk. His temperature was cooking and his day had started in that vein. He'd awoken to a house filled with smoke and a chicken burning in the oven. The connection between the charred poultry and his living on his friend's sofa next to a 56" flat screen can only be assumed, since the story was interrupted by nature's call. In his haste to make the bus, he hadn't made time to relieve himself, and now he was at capacity. Miles short of his destination, he opted to exit early and make use of the facilities of a nearby diner. The urgency stoked a memory of one 2-minute stream of relief, which he claimed for all to hear. I congratulated him and said it must be a Guinness Record.

Turning off Atlantic for our last trip through Collier City, an infrequent regular was waiting. Quiet and reserved, he always has some insight about the world around us. In true Socratic fashion, I can't recall him ever claiming to have the answer, but tries to find it through questions.
"You ever look at all these people and wonder where they're going? All the places they're going?" He asked the air when we'd become enveloped in a mass of congestion.
   'Yeah, but it gets overwhelming.' I finally said, knowing it was a short answer for a longer discussion.

A middle age man with a sleepy eye boarded, clearly despondent after another long day of futility.
"Wish I had your job." He pined.
   'Be careful what you wish for.' My admonishment was as much for my own benefit as his, a reminder that things are not as simple as they appear.
"You have job security. People will always need to get around."
Of course, he was right and there could be no arguing that fact. He wasn't saying it was easy, only pointing out the community's need for the service transit provides. It forced me to pause and recognize that just maybe it was greener on this side, in this way. The garden requires mindful tending lest the weeds take over, and with proper care will bear fruit in season.

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