Driving South Side Shuttle, I was introduced to a fellow named Brian. Brian rides on a handicapped pass and usually boards on the last morning loop at Horsetooth and Kingsley. The first time I picked him up, he kind of scared me. As you approach the stop, he shuffles forward like hes about to climb on to the bus, except the bus isnt there yet. The fear is you might hit him with the front of the bus or the mirror. I told him not to do that but I dont think it really registered.
When Brian climbs on board its obvious he has some physical limitations, Ill always wait for him to get in position and sit down before starting up, no matter how late the run might be getting. Ive tried to talk to Brian a few times but he rarely responds. When he does talk, hes very loud and talks in very short sentences. It took me a long time to find out Brians name, it wasnt until I had both Brian and Princess Epic on my bus that I finally found out. Again, it was proved, the Princess knows all.
One day while driving Route 7B, I found out something about Brian that few drivers know, he sings. I havent had him sing on the bus, but once while going into the Square to use the rest room, I saw Brain walking along inside the mall singing. Not just singing, he was good! I dont remember the song he was singing but his loud voice suited it very well. I wished I wasnt in such a hurry; I surly would have hung about listening a lot longer. I guess you find talent in the most unlikely places sometimes.
When Marian introduced herself to me, she said if I have trouble remembering her name, just think of "Marian the Librarian." In all honesty when I first met her, I didn't much like her. I found her kinda gruff and way more knoledgeable than I was about the bus system, I guess I must have found that kind of threatening. Turns out I was totally wrong about her. Once I understood Marian's sense of humor, we got along gangbusters! When I was still learning the bus system, it was actually a relief to have her on my bus. If I didn't have an answer to a bus related question, Marian would. There were times she would embarass me with her knoledge of the bus system but it helped me to learn. I would often look forward to certain routes knowing that at some point or another Marian would ride. Marian is a little older than me with salt and pepper hair, usually wearing dark glasses, long sleeves and carrying an umbrella. I asked her one day why she carries the umbrella even when it's clear and sunny? Seems that the sun and her don't get along very well and it's important she keep covered up. Over my time of driving the bus, our relationship got to the point where I would say things totally wrong just to get Marian's goat. More often than not she would just turn things around and get mine instead!
I had been driving Route 5 a few days then swapped over to Route 7B. On about my second morning loop, I had taken on transfers from the Fox Trot. Several people had transferred as well as Amy and her guide dog. As people transfer on, several conversations start as well as those carried on from the Fox Trot. As we started to roll, I was talking to Amy as well as another lady. Because both Route 5 and Route 7 take the same start from the Square (mixed with my lack of attention) I drove across Stanford on Monroe. At that moment I forgot what route I was supposed to be driving. I pulled over at the Aspen Leaf stop and turned to Amy (who at this point had just started to read her brail book) and said, Did I turn the right way? Amy snapped her head up and gave me this weird look and I further said, Wasnt I supposed to turn back there at Stanford? Amy started laughing and the lady sitting behind me questioned my intelligence at asking a blind girl if I was going the right way. Several people on the bus started laughing, which not only relieved the tension of the situation, but also, allowed me enough time to collect my thoughts to realize that I had gone the right way.
Copyright © 2006 Pokie Parmidge