On the bus- an African American couple is getting off, 20s, she's got the empty stroller and he's got the requisite doo rag and flat-billed hat sideways, pants down around his knees. He leans in and says, "hey man, all I got is a 20," and shows me his wallet, which is only very large bills. I say "that's okay-" hand gestures- "it ain't worth 20 dollars." Relief smiles across his face, and something else too. I say, "oh yeah, you're fine. Guys have a good night." He says "thank you" in italics, and she says sincerely, "I appreciate it," and we exchange some more 'have-a-good-nights' and 'you-too's,' except they feel so big and real and what else, and they're almost gone when he turns back and yells out, "and Happy Father's day, if you have a son!" An hour later I saw them again, wandering into the street. He had taken off his shirt. I leaned out of the bus and waved, and we all recognized each other ("heeeyyyy!"), and the excited goodness in them glowed. It was like we 3 were all the same special species, the kind that sees new possibilities, and you feel the juice that makes one excited about humanity. Our generation. The size of these moments.
What blog is this? You might be tempted to ask. It's the happy bus driver blog. There's only one of those. There are other blogs written by jaded or unhappy bus drivers, armchair transit enthusiasts, educated local historians, cynical bus riders, gearheads, and so on.... This is the only blog where the author simply talks about the nice things that happen on the bus. You'd be surprised at how often it happens. I can think of no "job"- it feels silly to call it such- I can think of no job that I'd rather be doing. People ask why a kid with a BFA who looks like a teenager would drive buses, but the reason is because it's honestly too great. The people have a restorative power that energizes the soul. If you've been on my bus, you know what I'm talking about (Here's an article a friend wrote about it). If not, well, I hope the blog offers an idea. I'll explain more in the future, but for now I'll offer an example, above.