Thursday, October 5, 2017

God, country, and BCT

Saturdays on the 36 are nothing to get excited about, because nothing much seems to happen. The schedule has plenty of time on it, so there's more chance of running hot than late. Service is frequent enough that there's always a seat for everyone. And the recovery time at the layovers is quite generous.

I started the shift around lunch time at Lauderhill Mall heading west. At Pine Island a familiar face from Route 2 was waiting. An older gentleman with a folding bike, a bucket, and a squeegee with a 2-foot wood handle. We talked about good & bad bus service, and the upcoming penny tax proposing to remedy the bad part. Two stops past Flamingo, he exited for his window-washing gig at Publix.
"Good talkin' with ya, see ya next time." I think he considers me like a son.
   'See ya out there.'
"I'm sure you will. If you don't see me, I'm dead."
   'Aw, don't say that.'
But he said it, and I wondered if I'd see him again.

On our return trip, a passenger who'd been reserved and quiet his entire trip wandered up front as we neared his exit.
"Thank you for your service. God, country, and BCT. Not necessarily in that order."
   'Different days, different orders...'
As he exited, he pointed out the bus bench ad featuring a pretty woman's face; someone drew a handlebar mustache on her upper lip.

Renovations at the aging Galleria were progressing. A previously stark white wall at the east end facing the boulevard had been replaced with two floors of glass and a colorful background within. At the east layover a cute latina boarded asking about the fare in accented English, her beach-appropriate apparel accentuating her more prominent features.

The next westbound trip was underway and traffic was so smooth we got to the Hill a bit earlier than scheduled. I relaxed in the cabin with everyone else.
"You look like Kennedy." A woman sitting across from me made an observation.
   'The president? He's before my time.'
"When he was around." She replied with a soft smile, before talking about her father taking trash to the dump up in Pennsylvania.

While at the Hill, a man boarded with a large rolling trash can loaded with his belongings. He looked at me intently and said "I've got more." Apparently he just got evicted since he followed up the trash can with two large storage totes and a wicker folding chair. He was also prone to bursts of manic laughter, like the Joker.

Along the residential stretch between Pine Island and Nob Hill is a development called Cross Creek. They have an impressive hedge of ixoras which present a wall of color when in full bloom. Unfortunately this damp day in late summer the blooms were sparse.

At Sawgrass mills, I bumped into a fellow driver. He was on the 22, which was still out Copans Garage at that time, and complained about too much stopping. I sympathized with him, but my day was going a lot smoother. At our first stop out of Sawgrass I picked up a former coworker from a previous job. A loud and intrusive individual, I didn't respond when he said I looked familiar to him. He didn't push it and was preoccupied with whatever he was on his way to do.

The wet ground and moist air invoked the ghost of Jaco as we passed Holiday Park, where he spent so many of his days. Days like this Saturday, on the 36, when nothing much seems to happen.

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