While teaching the motorcycle safety class up at Front Range Community College, I mentioned that I was a city transit bus driver. When the class stopped for a break, one of the participants approached me and asked if I knew a driver named Peggy? Everyone at Transfort knows and likes Peggy. The lady in my class was also named Peggy and as it turns out, Peggys daughter. This particular Peggy goes by the name Peggy-Marie and didnt want her mom to know she was taking the class. I didnt tell but almost started talking about Peggy-Marie one day to Peggy, luckily I caught myself before my foot passed my lips.
Peggy and I will talk from time to time about Peggy-Marie and her new motorcycle. I help out where I can with my opinions but Im just glad that Peggy-Marie finally told Peggy about the class. Having it just sort of come out in a conversation some time was bound to happen. There are three other drivers at Transfort that have gone through the motorcycle safety class but only one was in my class. The bunch of us were going to go out on a ride together but the weather turned sour and never came about.
While driving Route 14, I came to know a lady named George-Ann. George-Ann prefers to be called George even though it makes people think her name is Georgina. George is close to my age and has a rather rye personality. When she talks about me, she likes to use the phrase delusions of adequacy, I dont agree but I guess thats what keeps our relationship special. George works out on Airway, just off Lincoln by the airport. I think the reason she likes to see me driving, is I will call her stop as Airhead. Every now and then she will be sitting with someone she knows, talking up a storm. As we approach her stop Ill hear her say shush, listen. Ill call her stop Lincoln at Airhead and they will both start laughing. I just try to help her start her day off right.
When I first met Jamie she was just finishing high school. Jamie, an attractive young black woman with green eyes, she was always easy to pick out of a crowd. Her similarities to Vanessa Williams, to me, were striking. I would see Jamie from time to time on the bus system but sadly, she would often be traveling with some not very desirable people. Whenever she boarded, she would smile and say something nice then disappear into the back of the bus.
After I started working nights, Jamie became a common sight. Because she boarded by herself, she would often sit in the front across from me. As time passed and we got familiar with each other, she became quite the little chatterbox. There were times her constant chatter would just become a part of the rattling and clanking sounds of the bus rolling down the road. There were also times when Jamie would board the bus looking very worn and promptly fall asleep knowing I would wake her up when her stop was in sight.
Over time I discovered Jamie was working two jobs as well as going to College. I often wondered why she was so bent on living on her own but never felt it was my place to ask. Sometimes she would board upset with her dad for refusing to help her with her financial problems. We would talk back and forth and by the time we got to her stop she would at least be smiling again. Like I said, Ive always wondered why she moved away from home as well as wondered why she was so adamant about staying on her own. One night in her chatter, it all became clear.
Living at home she had always had a fairly free and easy life. She was a good kid that learned all kinds of things from her relatives from welding to fixing cars. When she turned sixteen she was accepted into a very prestigious school in Iowa on a Fullbright Scholarship, her future was certainly bright. Through the throws of paper work and preparations her mom and dad started having fights and the dad turned to raping Jamie. To escape the daily ritual, Jamie turned to life on the street. Since then Jamie has had several boyfriends keep her, generally considerably older than she and generally on the wrong side of the law. Jamie is now, for the most part, in charge of her own life. She spends her time working and trying to better herself.
Copyright © 2009 Pokie Parmidge