Sunday, October 13, 2013
A Bus Story
This is a tale from a time of my most storied commutes. In the late 1990s I worked at a Family Service organization in Absecon, New Jersey. I traveled from my home in Lindenwold on a very comfy bus. The commute was a little over an hour each way and it allowed me plenty of time to read. The ride to work deposited me right in front of my office. I caught a ride home on the other side of the White Horse Pike right in front of a Wawa.
My fellow travelers were a colorful assortment of people who could talk of owning cars as other people might talk about winning the lottery. The bus drivers were all very friendly and looked out for me. They frequently offered help with my bags or my cane, but I was adept at getting on and off the bus.
One evening one of the drivers asked me what I did for a living.
“Oh, I’m a counselor at the agency across the street,” I said.
He laughed. “Oh, the folks on the bus would love to know that. I could drum up some business.”
“Please don’t. If anyone asks what I do tell them I’m a cocktail waitress.”
A few weeks later one of the regulars boarded the bus. She was, as always, drunk.
We traveled a few minutes longer. I was deep into Barchester Towers and not really paying attention to the people around me. Then I heard a voice say, “Let me help you with that.”
The bus had stopped in front of a supermarket and a woman with many bags of groceries was trying to get herself and them onto the bus. The inebriated female passenger was offering the help. She managed to get each and every bag on the bus, but she dropped each of them noisily as she did so.
“Gee, I hope that didn’t have eggs in it.” she would call out cheerily.
I had quit reading due to the ruckus and the bus driver wanted to chat about something other than the grocery delivery. Next to the grocery store was a 24 hour adult book store. Long gone were the days when I thought these were places where insomniacs could pick up the complete works of Emmanuel Kant.
The bus driver began to read from the sign.
“Nude Dancing, Lap Dancing, B and D.” He gave me a puzzled look. “I wonder what B and D is?”
“Bondage and Domination,” I said in a voice that brooked no argument.
“Wow! How does somebody like you know something like that?” he asked.
I smiled and returned to the world of Anthony Trollope.
© 2013 Stephanie Patterson