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, November 9, 2007

Wachenhut appreciation night

I find the hovering presence of the Wachenhut Security guards who ride Sacramento Regional Transit trains at night comforting. Well, maybe comforting isn't the right word, but hovering is. The yellow and black uniforms remind me of large bumble bees.

Tonight, I was riding on the Watt/I-80 train. I had boarded at 7:45 p.m. at Cathedral Square after attending a gathering for a former colleague.

I was reading my book when I heard a sweeping sound. It was a puzzling sound, one you don't expect on a train. I looked up and saw a Wachenhut Security guard, bent over, using a wadded-up newspaper to sweep the floor. The detritus of the day's passengers flew before him in a cloud. He was working his away from the middle of the train to the rear. As he reached the side door, he brushed the debris into the door well. He then swept his way to the rear of the train, picking up papers and discarded coffee cups as he went. At the next stop he exited the train.

A worker bee, I thought.

Seven or eight young women and a couple of guys of the same age were taking up most of the seats in the rear of the car. They were all smiling and chatting. It all seemed so odd to hear youthful laughter on the train. It was after 8 p.m. by then, and this was not a crowd of tired commuters heading home. This was a party on its way somewhere on a Friday night.

When the train arrived at the end of the line everyone piled out and climbed the stairs. A moment later -- literally a moment, not a second more -- the No. 1 bus I wanted pulled to the curb, and I headed home.

This was a night to restore ones transitarian spirit. It was a nice end to a long week.

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