A first-world problem: the app on my iPhone wouldn’t update the schedule for the bus I had to take earlier tonight. I took the next best bus route. When two people got off, I realized they were the last two people for the night.
Just the bus driver and me, and I had typical commuter questions. I was in the mood for polite and light conversation–beats the sibling bickering at home. It was a short ride, and I got off surprised. The driver said, “thanks for talking with me.” She was so sincere, like I had done something special. And in a way, I had, though the option of sitting on the bus in quite silence wasn’t really an option.
I don’t carry around headphones: I like making myself available. I like observing people on the bus or listening to the driver and a passenger talking. It’s interesting the bits you learn about people in this way. Like I know some bus drivers have a spouse, who share the same profession, and wait for each other at the end of the day. Like I know talk about football is a favorite topic. Like I know some bus drivers can tell where you’re going by what you’re carrying or wearing. And some of them really, really can’t stand when phones are on speaker. And some of them smile at every baby that gets on the bus. Every time.
And they’re all better drivers than me, except for the ones that occasionally honk too much. Nowadays, I get the chance to drive myself… I’m a mess. I’m usually under the influence of being disorientated. It takes me repeated trials to get a route embedded in my memory.
And so, I’m grateful for kind people who drive buses.