On the bus (8)

March 24, 2007


When I got on the bus, I noticed first that the busdriver had a cloth mask over her mouth and nose. I supposed this had to be because she had allergies, she didn’t like the pollution, or for some private concern.  Whatever her reason, the busdriver had a clear barrier between her insides and the world. As each of us got on, mostly ASU students, she said a loud “Good morning!” to each of us. To a one, we each responded in kind.

At the next stop, more students got on–the same litany of “Good morning!” followed by mumbled “Good morning, howsit going?” A boy with uncombed hair, a skateboard, and a Dr. Pepper got on and did not respond to the busdriver’s shouted greeting. She stopped him by saying, “Hey! I said good morning!” He smiled to us on the bus and said an exaggerated “Good morning.”

The busdriver may have put a barrier between her mouth and the air, but she would not allow a barrier between driver and rider. She demanded interaction, however superficial and prosaic. On the way off the bus, we each said “Thank you;” I felt like I had to say it. She responded, “Your welcome!” to each one of us, and to a few she said, “Have a blest day.”


On the way home, the bus was crowded, again with students. One white boy was wearing a baggy basketball uniform and had his earbuds in. Through the whole trip, he rapped loudly and poorly to the hip hop songs playing in his ears. People were rolling their eyes and not making eye contact; I was thinking that he was a dipshit.

Shortly before my stop, he changed his tune and started singing Garth Brooks’s “I Got Friends in Low Places.” Heads snapped around. One girl in the back row started singing it too. A few other joined in. By the end of the song, about half of the bus was singing the song with the boy, who was now grinning.

5 Responses to “On the bus (8)”

  1. Alex Says:

    You know what they say… you can take the boy out of Arkansas, but you can’t take Arkansas out of the boy!

  2. sheepdays Says:

    It has come to my attention that my lovely and loving wife has suspected that I have been making stuff up in my “On the bus” features. I do hereby swear that it has all been true. And as Pontius Pilate asks, “What is truth?”

  3. Dave Bonta Says:

    OH, I can tell you’re not making it up. I’ve met too many people like the ones you describe.

  4. adan Says:

    That’s beautiful…I didn’t expect that twist of events…

  5. I’m not sure which is more frightening – a bad, wanna-be white rapper “singing” solo or half a bus full of people singing Garth Brooks.

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