July Golden Transfer

Golden Transfer, designed by Zach TuckerWay back in the beginning of the month, I took the 550 to Bellevue to pick up a Flexcar for a weekend rental. Because I’d been on a fairly long hiatus from my job on the Eastside, and because I had rushed to catch this particular 550, I completely forgot that a ride across the lake on a Sound Transit bus costs $2.50, a dollar more than my $1.50 pass.

Unfortunately, my wallet contained no singles–only a $20 bill and 70 cents in change. By the time I realized this, the bus was long past the ride-free zone, which meant it was too late to get off and break the bill (read: buy some chocolate). And so, fueled by bad childhood memories of the day I lost my bus tickets on the way to school and an irrational fear of committing a bus foul, I began to panic.

I didn’t want to draw attention to my situation by asking the other passengers for change, but, after a split second of deliberation, decided it was far preferable to the attention I would draw if I waited to work it out with the bus driver at the end of the ride. I sucked it up and asked the woman next to me if she could break a 20. She couldn’t.

At the stop on Mercer Island, I mustered up the courage to try again, this time with the guy in front of me. He had some change, but not 20 dollars’ worth. When I offered to trade the 20 for whatever he had, he asked what I needed it for. I explained my situation, and he handed me a dollar, refusing my 70 cents and my profuse thanks.

“It’s no big deal,” he said. “It’s just a dollar.”

Then he got off the bus. (I assume it was because we had reached his stop, but there’s also the chance he wanted to avoid the possibility of any other psycho chicks begging him for bus fare.)

And so, I am awarding July’s Golden Transfer to my unknown 550 hero. Yes, it was just a dollar, but on that particular afternoon, it was everything to this bus chick.

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