So. My car borrowing days have been temporarily revoked so that Nicole can have a car to drive for her big transition into college life. What does this mean? It means I am once again a bus rider. I'd almost forgotten what a bittersweet joy public transportation brings me. Ah, the sights, the sounds, the smell of the bus.
My return to the UTA life has been rocky at times. I rolled out of bed one morning at 9:32 and only had time to pull on some clothes and brush my teeth before running down the stairs and out the door to catch my bus. It leaves my stop at 9:44, and the time was now 9:42. I don't know if it was just something in the air that day, or maybe it was my renewed spirit of going for the gold I'd attained watching that crazy A Jamaican man break the world record for the 100 meter at the Olympics. But I sprinted to the bus. That's right. No jog of shame. A full on sprint as fast as I could the two blocks to the bus stop. I was about 50 yards away when the bus started pulling away to move on, but the driver saw me running for my life and had mercy on my soul.
Please note: when you are late for the bus, if you are running and the bus driver is waiting for you, you cannot slow down. The second you slow to a walk the driver assumes you must not want on board badly enough to push yourself, and you are left breathless at the stop as you watch your ride pull away without you.
So I persevered. I sprinted the whole way. I don't think I have sprinted since junior high. For real. I don't know why I did it, but I caught the bus and I was happy about it. Maybe it was the fact that I've been working out every other day that kept me from just giving up and calling in late to work. But, I think this Nike commercial had something to do with it. I've seen it a couple times on TV, and I just love it. It highlights the mental aspect of athletics and pushing yourself. My race to the bus was a small feat, but after watching this clip I would feel like a complete wimp if I didn't at least TRY to catch the bus. Enjoy.
I mean come on, that last guy doesnt even have feet! It's amazing.
The downside to riding the bus? Jerks.
On one of my first rides to work as a car-less vagabond, I did something extremely juvenile, out of rage and my unquenchable thirst for justice. But lets start at the beginning.
I get on the bus, and the first thing I notice are these two little kids. A girl who looks about or 5, and her 2 or 3 year old little brother. They were sharing a bench seat across the aisle from their mom, and they were both completely absorbed in their little toys. The girl had a pink Nintendo DS, and you could tell she was concentrating and loving every second of her electronic adventure. Her little brother looked just as enamored with his choice of entertainment: two sticks. He was clapping them together and pointing them at people. He was perfectly happy. They were so cute. I guess that's the difference between boys and girls.
Then, out of nowhere I hear this drunken sounding man yell out something in Spanish. It was some old white guy just babbling on about something. I kept listening, and realized he was talking about immigration and making all sorts of racist comments and using racial slurs. I looked around the bus. The two little kids and their mom were Hispanic, as well as an older man in the back of the bus. Across the aisle from the offending mumbler was an old Asian man. All of their faces were just stone, like they were trying not to let the chorus of hatred into their heads. They all avoided making eye contact with me or with one another.
The man continued... "I'm sick of America turning from white to yellow to brown and every other color...."
My jaw seriously dropped open in disbelief. Was he really saying these things? Out loud? On a bus filled with people of the ethnicities he was attacking? My nostrils flared with rage. I looked at the only other white kid on the bus across the aisle from me. His eyes were wide and his face was stiff, but he had headphones in, pretending not to hear anything. Maybe he didn't, but I sure did and I was absolutely appalled. What could I do? The bus was moving, its not like I could get up and walk back there and give him a piece of my mind. I really should have though. It was obvious by the time we got to the BYU campus that this man was very aware of who was around him, and definitely, unfortunately, sober.
We came to a stop and I quietly made my way to the front of the bus. I told on him. I told the bus driver that there was a man making really offensive racial comments and that he was disturbing the other passengers. The bus driver was a sweet old lady, and she said "oh thank you so much for telling me!"
I really hope that old man got kicked off the bus. Every bus driver has the right to kick people off the bus who are disruptive. I had to catch my connecting bus, so I don't know what happened. I just can't believe that things like this happen every day. Or maybe its just that I do believe, and I'm extremely disappointed in humanity.