Another One Rides The Bus

A civic responsibility often urged upon us is the utilization of public transportation, which in my case means taking the bus. Mostly downtown. Mostly because parking is an expensive nightmare. Also, I’m growing older, which might worry some, and I like looking out the window while driving, which again, might worry some.

On to my tale.

Recently, after a delightful concert at Benaroya Hall by the Seattle Symphony, my wife and I lined up to get on the bus to return home. A guy carrying a picture frame pushed a woman out of the way. When called on this, he screamed…

He screamed. Loudly!

At me. I was a punk. At the woman next to me. She was the C-word. As he continued yelling, a guy pulled on my arm and told me the guy was crazy and the bus driver would call the cops if the screamer got out of control. He seemed concerned I might get into a shouting match. Apparently, this angry bus rider was well known to those who more regularly ride the bus and take this route.

On the way home, as I watched him rock and clutch his picture frame, I wondered how common this was. I also chastised myself for wanting to call the guy out, all the while knowing, having gone through de-escalation training at the hospital where I misspent my youth, that confrontation rarely ended well or without police activity.

I didn’t see how getting into a fight capped an otherwise delightful day for the better.

He didn’t look at me again, keeping his head down, and silently got off the bus one stop before we did. How about that, a neighbor.

The delightful day ended with me, once again, wondering about all the people who don’t peacefully coexist in this frenetic world we’ve been born into and must survive for however many years life gives us. I’m certain he was younger than I was, but not by that much. What happens to these folks? How often does the bus driver have to call the cops? None of us on this particular trip had any interest in engaging in a screaming match, including me, but what if someone had? Would it be newsworthy if it had? General interest, let’s say… Would he be “Not that guy again” to the cops?

Makes you wonder.

But then I wonder about all the others too.

©2019 David William Pearce

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