In the Bus Bag
Writing My Wrongs: Life, Death, and Redemption in an American Prison, by Shaka Senghor
Category Archives: overheard
Two middle-aged black men are sitting near the front, discussing job prospects. Somewhere near Harborview, one mentions a position he is particularly interested in, which offers, among other perks, union wages and benefits. The other scoffs.
“Let me tell you something: Seattle has black jobs and white jobs. If President Obama went down there and applied, he couldn’t get one of those jobs.”
The three of us (Chick, Chicklet, and Busling) are putting on shoes, jackets, and et cetera, preparing to head out and catch the 8. Chicklet, who has no rival in the dawdling department, is (per usual) taking forever. She resists instructions to take a preventative trip to the restroom, puts her shoes on the wrong feet, pauses to play with dinosaur figurines recently strewn around the entry, and manages to misplace one of her mittens.
While I’m zipping Busling’s jacket, she disappears into the bedroom. I call for her to come back and put on her hat.
At the stop near 8th, the driver gets on the mic and says, “Oops. You went too far.” When no one responds, he looks in his rearview mirror and tries again. “Wasn’t one of you looking for Union Gospel Mission?”
After another silence, several of us begin turning in our seats to see who he is talking to. In the process, our eyes scan the man sitting to my right, who has spent most of the short ride talking loudly on his cell about all the money he’s earned this year, and, in particular, this week.
“Don’t look at me,” …
Children’s Museum play bus, 12:15 PM (or, What happens when you read The Wizard of Oz to a BCiT from the CD)
Chicklet, pretending to drive: “Next stop, 23rd & Oz! Yellow Brick Road.”
The entire Bus Fam is walking home from the 27 after a lovely downtown shopping adventure*. On the way, we run into a young gentleman who, though possibly somewhat intoxicated, is perfectly friendly and polite.
After saying hello to all of us, he puts his fist out, at Chicklet level, and asks for a pound. Chicklet looks down at his hand, gives him her (in)famous side eye, and says, “My knuckles are hurting.”
The man shrugs off the slight and tries again, this time with an open hand. “How about a high five?” he asks.
Chicklet looks at his …
Chicklet: “I wish the bus would do certain things.”
Bus Chick: “What things?”
Chicklet: “Take us to Uncle Jeremy’s house right now.”
Northbound 17, 11:30 AM (en route)
Somewhere on Dexter, we get a great view of Busling’s favorite building out our window.
Busling, hollering: “Hello, Space Needle! Helloooo Space Needle!”
Eventually, another building blocks his view.
Busling: “I don’t want to say goodbye.”
A woman boards at Harborview and immediately announces, “This bus smells like curry and armpits!”
I didn’t smell any curry.
Two high-school age girls are chatting in the seat facing the back door. The conversation is lighthearted, until one of the girls casually checks the ingredients of the “juice” concoction she is drinking.
Girl 1, staring at the bottle: “Skim milk? What’s skim milk?”
Girl 2: I don’t know. “Maybe it’s like soy milk. I can drink soy milk.”
They discuss for a few minutes but neither seems to know for sure. Girl 1 starts to become agitated. Both start looking around for someone to ask and finally tap a boy about their age, who is listening to his headphones.