Friday, March 18, 2016


There was no coffee in the house.  A bus was  due in nine minutes, probably time enough to walk a block and a half to Delphina's for an Americano and then pack myself into the sardine can at the stop near the store. And in case of a near-miss, the next bus was only three minutes behind.

The plan went smoothly. I reached the busstop with my drink as the bus hove into sight three stops away.

A car slowed on the far side of the street. The driver rolled down the window and waved at me.

"I have to talk to you."

I almost trotted over. But the bus was now two stops away, and I was carrying two bags and a full cup of coffee. Plus I had never seen this guy before. I tried to put all of these thoughts into a wave back at him with my "free" hand.

A car came up behind the waver, honking. My man drove ahead, pulling to the curb about 100 feet away and continuing to wave his arm emphatically out the window.  

I glanced around in case something dangerous was closing in. There was nothing.

The man kept waving.  I got bus ticket in hand as the bus roared up. Without slowing, it roared past.  Funny, there were empty seats in it. Sometimes, of course, a driver skips a stop because she's behind schedule or is returning to the garage for repairs. Usually, I believe, the reason for passing up riders is that the vehicle is full, and this drive-by was definitely less than full.

Well, the next one was due in three minutes.

The waver drove to the corner, turned around in the intersection and headed back towards me.  He pulled up, leaned hard to put his face near the window. The moment of truth.

"This is not a busstop anymore."

I glanced up. In fact, the busstop signpost was gone. I recalled that the last time I waited at the stop a couple weeks ago, there had been an announcement posted on the signpost that may have said something about a change to the stop.

I looked back at my interloper.

"This is what I've been trying to tell you."

"Oh.  Thank you."

"My wife did use this stop every day. That's how I know."

This stranger's assertive generosity suddenly sank in. He had detoured from his trip, probably losing a few minutes from his commute to work, to save me a few minutes' trouble.

I thanked him again and "ran" to catch the next bus. 

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