I left work yesterday evening at my usual time and walked the several blocks it takes to reach my bus stop downtown. It was dark and a little chilly, but otherwise not at all unpleasant. I had about ten minutes or so to wait, if the bus came on time. Many other buses use this stop also, and it is always filled with commuters heading home after work. Nice folks, generally.
Buses came. One came early and idled in the stop for several minutes until other buses started clogging up the street behind it. Finally it moved on and the backlog creeped forward. At the end of the line, just pulling into the bus stop zone at the end of the block, was my bus. Yay! I wasn’t sure if the driver was going to start letting people on or not, and I didn’t want to walk all the way down there just to have to walk all the way back if he didn’t. Sometimes the drivers don’t let people on if they aren’t officially in the zone. I waited a bit and then he opened the doors and people started walking down the sidewalk and getting on. Because sometimes the driver doesn’t stop again farther up in the zone where I was, I figured I’d better get down there and get on with everybody else.
It looked like I was going to be the last one, so I hurried up and waved at the driver twice, once when he started closing the doors, and once when it looked like he was about to pull away from the curb. But I had made it! Just as he was starting off I put my hand up to the window, slapping the glass, then the door, the side of the bus as he continued driving away. Whaa?
“ASSHOLE!!!” The twenty or so commuters still waiting for their buses turned and looked down the block at me. “This IS the BUS STOP!!”
The driver pulled forward and was now sitting in the center of the bus stop zone where I had previously been standing. The doors opened up again.
For a nanosecond I think I considered not getting on at all. I was hot and mad. But I shuffled up to the back door where one or two other people had stepped on. No surprise, I was again the last one to get there, and thought for a moment that the driver would shut the back door in my face too. “Thank you.” I huffed to no one in particular as I stomped up the steps. I raised my head to find a seat and… there were no seats left.
I was the only person standing, holding on to the railings above my head with both hands. Everytime the driver looked up in the mirror he probably saw me, looming there, all the way home.