#4 – Industrial Center
Status: 2 minutes late
I overslept this morning, so when I left the house, my goal was to catch a 7:50-something bus. The bus (7:55) reached the stop when I was still at least half-a-block away from the intersection. Then I had a red light, and the bus pulled away while I was still standing at the opposite corner. I blame the NPR story on the World Series game — the Cardinals’ bullpen misunderstood the call to warm up a replacement pitcher, even though the pitchers’ names don’t sound anything alike. Well, I was sucked in enough that I stood by the door listening before heading out. And the could have cost me the walk sign.
I started walking down 4th Street and texted R. You might make it to work before me. He was still in bed when I left. He persisted in telling me through text and later by phone that I should have just turned around and gotten my bike. Except the bus would have arrived before I even got home, and I would have had to put all my stuff in a different bag, and I would have been even later to work. It was lighter outside, but I also need to get lights and reflectors for the bike — no one’s going to say they can’t see me.
I stopped at Kentucky–the time was 8:08 and the bus was just turning onto 4th Street. It arrived a couple minutes later. Quiet ride, but the bus smelled a little sour.
# 4 – Southland Park
Status: 2-3 minutes late
I was the first person at the bus stop, but it looked like someone had just been there:
|Insert your own story using these objects here.|
A men’s dress shirt, tie, pamphlet, Nueveo Testamento (interestingly enough, I have that same book) on the bench, an apple on the ground, and another shirt and a plastic bag behind the bench.
It was 7:34 when the bus pulled away, so a few minutes late, but there were about 9 people boarding, including a man with a bicycle. A student sat next to me at Oak Street and talked to his classmate across the aisle about anatomy and other science classes. I always forget what time the bus comes, so at 7:30 I yell “Oh shit” and run out the door…It’s probably better that I think it comes at 7:30 instead of 7:36 because then I’d realize it at 7:37 and the bus would drive past me.
# 4 – Central Ave
Status: on time
The bus arrived right on time and even waited a minute or two for some passengers coming from another bus. How come that never happens for me?
A man was at 3th & Kentucky, although at first I didn’t see who was at the stop. I just knew someone was talking to the driver. He said where he needed to go. The driver said she wasn’t going that far. The man said he’d go as far as she was going. The driver lowered the ramp and went to the seats to lift the row and pull out the seatbelt.
A man in a wheelchair (not an electric one) hauled himself onto the bus. He wore a winter cap and was missing a leg. And he wanted to talk. As the driver fastened the belt, went back to the front, and started driving, the man tried to tell her his story. My father passed last year…He was an assistant dean at Louisville and Michigan. State. University! Would send money to the son ($20 a day?!), but the man hadn’t received anything since his father died. I lost my leg around the same time my father passed…It has to heal for a year before I can get a new one. Going to pull myself up.
In the afternoon I walked home and I saw the same man at 4th & York trying to push himself along with one leg. One of the small wheels in the front of the wheelchair was bent.
# 18 westbound
Status: on time
Last time the bus was late so I built in more time today and the bus was just about on time. A few stops past mine, a woman stood at the corner holding a transfer ticket, but the actual bus stop sign was about half a length in front of her. The driver stopped at the sign, and when the woman boarded, he pointed out where the stop was.
Further on, a family of 6 boarded. The father carried a stroller, and the mother carried an infant boy. The other 3 members were boys about a year apart from each other, so maybe 5, 4, 3, 2, infant. All boys with closely cropped red hair. The mom sat them in the two front seats next to each other with the oldest holding the youngest and the mom standing in front of them. The young woman in the first set of front-facing seats offered the aisle seat, but the mom said she was fine. The dad stood across the aisle holding the stroller. In the row of three seats, one man sat with his legs spread out over the other 2 seats.
At least once, the oldest boy yelled, Momma, I can’t hold him..he’s gonna hit his head! And the mom replied, Yes, you can. You’ve held him before, but she stuck her arm out to put her hand between the infant’s head and the side of the bus. The family got off at Broadway. Right before the bus stopped, the mom cried Why did you take your shoe off? The dad grabbed the stroller and got off, followed by the mom carrying the infant, and the other 3 boys, one of them carrying a sneaker in his hand.
# 23 – eastbound
Status: approximately 4 minutes late
I was meeting M. at the coffee shop at 9 for the first time in a few weeks. I hadn’t checked the TARC schedule but headed out around 8.30. It turns out I was right between 2 buses. It was sunny, with just a slight chill, so I started to walk east on Broadway. I hate just hanging around the bus stop waiting.
Two men stood at the corner of Broadway and Brook. One was smoking a cigarette and one was standing in the street in an orange vest taking money from a driver stopped at the light (I had stopped at the flashing orange because I didn’t think I could cross in time). I thought he was selling the weekend newspaper. As the light changed, those cars took off and I stood waiting. The man looked over at me and called me Darling or Sweetie or something and asked if I could give money to Wayside Christian Ministries. I shook my head. I support WCM but I’m not giving cash on the street to a guy in a vest. I said I didn’t have any cash. Which was technically true in that the money I did have on me was reserved for the coffee shop, and if you’re going to sit in a coffee shop for 2+ hours, you need to buy some food and drink.
How much money do you have? he asked. That was a little presumptuous.
I said I had no extra cash – I don’t get paid until the end of the month.
He looked me up-and-down from shoes to head. You don’t look poor.
I didn’t say I was poor–I’m broke. There’s a difference. Good thing he didn’t comment on the laptop bag hanging on my other arm. Macbook was heavy.
The damn light would not change!Finally, I took off and checked the schedule at the next stop. Still time to walk. Another man yelled out Good morning to me and asked how I was. I said Good morning back and said fine. As I walked past, I think he said, Today’s my birthday, but I wasn’t sure.
I stopped around Shelby at that stop to wait the next few minutes. I had been home the entire week before with a sinus infection and had not planned on a brisk Saturday morning walk. At the designated arrival time, there was no sign of the bus approaching, so I started walking again. At Barret, just west of the intersection, the bus passed me. The stop was on the east side of the intersection.
I turned onto Barret and cut up a side street and just kept walking. It was a little over 2 miles and took about 40 minutes.
# 4 – Downtown/Medical Center
Status: 3-4 minutes late
The bus was supposed to reach Hill Street at 4:42, but it was more like 4:46 when it pulled up. When I left work, I knew I wouldn’t catch the 4:26 so decided to walk a bit–and I was right. I saw the bus drive by when I was cutting through a parking lot. At Hill Street, I took a photo of the former Old Louisville Coffeehouse, soon to be a new Yafa Cafe (!). Because there was a car at the red light in front of the bus, the bus could not pull into the right lane in front of the stop but opened the doors where it was. Two people got off and I got on. An older man wearing a baseball cap and with hair that went a little below his ears said, Well, hello there, young lady. He was talking politics with the even older man across the aisle who wear a newsboy cap and carried two bags from Dollar General (toilet paper and paper towels). The gist of it was they supported the protests on Wall Street and Louisville and didn’t think Rick Perry would get the Republican nomination.
I was glad I hadn’t taken the earlier bus since it was broken down at Oak Street and those passengers boarded our bus. I probably would have started walking. An older couple–she had a red-and-white cane and he had a wood-tipped one–boarded from the earlier bus. The man in the baseball cap offered his seat (also on that row was a young woman with a baby and a stroller that jutted into the aisle), but the couple chose to stand. We’re not going that far, the woman said. At Kentucky Street (about 3 stops), they were still on the bus when the newsboy cap man got off, and they took his seat. At York Street, a woman with an electric wheelchair was waiting to board. Sitting on the footpad was a young girl. Pretty sure that’s not what that’s for. I got off the bus there and walked up to Broadway and then on home.