There is a certain happiness sighted when your bus comes along. It is of course a small specialized form of happiness and will never be a great thing.

-Richard Brautigan, The Old Bus

Friday, February 9, 2007

Weathering transit

It wasn't pouring rain as I stood waiting for the bus at 8:36 a.m. But it was raining enough to make me look at my watch to see how long I would have to wait. With a ball cap and hooded parka, I wasn't getting wet. In fact, it was more tolerable than the morning the week prior when the temperature was less than 40 degrees.

The bus did arrive, although a minute late. I boarded and was still shaking off the rain and getting settled when the bus stopped outside medical offices around the block from my home.

A woman in a wheelchair requested the stop. I watched as the driver unlatched three anchors that secured the chair to the floor of the bus. This was a "kneeling" bus. With the bus bowing and the ramp down, the woman glided out of the bus, but the rounded curb to the sidewalk presented a problem. She struggled with the wheels of her hand-powered chair and finally reached the sidewalk.

As the bus rolled away I watched as the woman pushed the wheels of her chair, rolling along the sidewalk toward the medical offices.

It wasn't pouring rain . . .

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