In the Bus Bag
Writing My Wrongs: Life, Death, and Redemption in an American Prison, by Shaka Senghor
Tag Archives: community
On a recent Wednesday, I got to talking with the man in line in front of me at the grocery store. He was an older man, probably a good decade older than my father, and he showed a lot of interest in Busling. His eyes lingered long after the initial “Look at the baby!”, and he asked lots of questions–the kind asked by people who are missing the days when their own were still tiny. So, to keep the conversation from being completely one-sided, I asked the man if he had children.
“Yes, two grandchildren,” he said, “a …
Last night, on a late-evening 71, I sat next to a man who was really into cigars. He was carrying a handful, which he had apparently just purchased at a nearby smoke shop.
“They’re rejects,” he told me. “Maybe they’re rolled too tight or something. They normally sell for 15 bucks* a piece.”
Of course, that prompted me to ask about the qualities of a cigar that costs the equivalent of eight peak-hour bus rides (not including transfers) which prompted him to explain about fine tobacco, and timing, and hand-rolling. It was quite an education.
Somewhere in the course of …
The sun did, indeed, shine on Columbia City today.
For a few minutes after I passed the barricade, I stayed on the sidewalk (30+ years of conditioning are hard to overcome)–until I realized I didn’t have to. What an exhilarating feeling to step off the curb and stroll down the middle of the street!
Hoops, hopscotch, and hula hoopin’:
On Wednesday, as Chicklet and I settled into a seat on our favorite route, an elderly woman I had never seen before sat down next to us, looked at Chicklet like she knew her, and said, “I just saw your uncle over at the University of Washington.”
I was about to tell her that she had us confused with another bus riding mother-daughter team when she said, “I had to get a few x-rays and some work on my crown.”
Aha! She had indeed seen Chicklet’s uncle, my brother Joel, an almost-dentist who sees patients at the UW’s dental …
On our first 358 ride to visit Jeremy, Chicklet and I sat next to a woman who, despite getting off on the wrong foot by asking one of those questions, turned out to be alright. She was on a bus excursion–which had started in Ocean Shores at 10 AM and was going to end in Everett late in the evening (!)– to pick up her two-year old granddaughter. (I think she mentioned why she decided not to opt for Greyhound, but I can’t remember the reason.) By the time our paths crossed on the 358, she was on her …
This man, spotted on a Sunday afternoon 26, was folding origami swans from old newspapers and handing them out to his fellow passengers.
I wish I had a better picture; the swans were really cool. And no, I cannot explain why he was wearing a wool hat and flannel shirt on a crowded bus (with no AC!) in the middle of 90+ degree day. Perhaps I should ask Bus Nerd, a man who insists on wearing a jacket and bringing an umbrella everywhere, no matter the season, forecast, or current temperature. Little old …
For better: The 48, where everybody knows your name
On Friday, Chicklet and I traveled to the Eastside (48 + 545) to meet Bus Nerd for lunch. My parental leave is quickly dwindling, and we’re trying to get in all the family bonding time we can. I digress.
The 48 ride was one of those cool trips where it feels like you know everyone on the bus. We ran into my friend Paulette, whom I met several years ago (through Bus Nerd) on the 3. Actually, I originally met Paulette many years earlier, when I was still a child, …
On Saturday, like many of our fellow Washingtonians, Bus Nerd and I attended our first caucus. It was Chicklet’s first caucus, too, but of course, pretty much everything she does is a first for her. I digress.
The caucus was held at T.T. Minor elementary, so we took the 48 (also known as my ride to everywhere) down to Union and walked the rest of the way there. (Note that we could have taken the 2 up the hill, had we been inclined to wait–or disinclined to walk.) The place was packed–with 100 people showing up …
Tonight, on my 48 home from Montlake, there was a middle-aged man in the seat slightly behind me and to my right. He was on the phone with a loved one, telling the person in a strained voice not to worry, that he would make it home.
After he hung up, he began moaning softly, then loudly, and when I turned back to look at him, there were tears streaming down his face. He opened a can of something to drink (from my angle, I couldn’t see what it was) and continued to moan and cry.
The bus was …