"I'ma be real wit choo, man. You deserve to be driver uh duh year. Every time I see you you be friendly. You be gettin' out and helpin' somebody. And not jus' this year, but every single time, you be tellin' em where we at, lettin' people know. Really though. Dude. If it was a vote, I'd be votin' for you."
He came all the way from the very back to say that, this kid. He'd stalked up here from the nether regions of the bus, pulling his headphones down around his neck, this adolescent boy dressed in classic thuggy teen gear, visually indistinguishable from the thoughtless, glum and confrontational youth persona we're all familiar with, the fellow you're supposed to be wary of on your walk home.
But here he was, one of the very same, sharing such unabashedly unhip praise. I don't know specifically what inspired him. I'd just hopped out of the bus to help a Latino boy learn how to use the bike rack. Of course I blush at his kind words, but I'm blown away less by what he said than the fact that he felt the need to say it, to walk all the way up here and go to the trouble of expressing his adamant approval for those most utterly uncool of attributes– decency, graciousness. Altruism.
Who says virtues are lost on the youth?
Once again, regarding my current show, which is one of my all-time favorites and one of the better shows I've ever been in, is closing! Last chance to see 150 small works! I'll be there from 5pm to 6:30 only. Stop on by if you can!
And much more importantly, THANK YOU, you lovely Seattle voters, for voting yes on buses! Without knowing it, this boy thanks you. The great human collective thanks you, the churning organism that keeps this city alive, the fastest-growing city in the nation. No major city doesn't also have an excellent transit infrastructure, and no city with a great rail network doesn't also have killer bus service. Seattle doesn't just need to preserve its system, but to expand, and this measure allows for that. Incredibly, we'll finally be looking at service changes that aren't just a bunch of reductions. People working in the off hours or unusual commutes will be able to keep their jobs, allowing the city to keep thriving. I'll be able to continue the blog, to keep riding the bus everywhere, and I won't be laid off! Honestly, how can I thank you enough?
The new service hours will largely go into maintaining the current network and beefing up existing service with added runs and frequency. But look also for a possible split of the C and D with new service on those routes to South Lake Union and SODO, as well as extending the daytime 70/71-series express pattern into the evenings and Sundays. Details here. For myself, I'd love to see some more wire! And the 280 restored! One can hope!