# 4 – Iroquois Park (7:55)
Status: One minute early
The bus was freezing this morning. A man got on and muttered something that sounded like, “This bus is cold. This bus is cold.” He hung a dry-cleaning bag and hanger on one of the poles and cracked open the top part of two windows. Which made it cold and just a little steamy. He pulled out a jobs-ad newspaper from his plastic bag and laid it on his seat and then sat down on it.
Yesterday’s bus was also cold in the morning, but the afternoon bus was warm, just a few notches away from unpleasant. It’s a sweat-or-freeze situation. It was hotter in the afternoon and there were more people on the bus, but I think they only have “Cold” or “Off” as settings.
There was a fatal shooting on a TARC bus Monday afternoon. The #23 at Bardstown and Goldsmith.
Police seek 3 in fatal shooting on TARC bus
We took planes and automobiles and moved on foot during our Alaska vacation but no dog sleds or boats or tuk-tuks or anything else. One afternoon, we did take the bus from downtown back to my friend’s house.
She and I had determined there were two routes we could take — #3 or #13. For some reason, we focused on the latter, which came once an hour at 5 after, except for one random stop at 4:35.
It was just before 3 when we talked about heading back, but we hadn’t stopped for Alaska truffles yet, and I hadn’t seen the museum. We did make it to the transit center shortly after 3:05, and R. said, “Maybe the bus is late.” I looked around at the people standing — they all seemed sort of dazed. You can ask someone if it’s come yet, I said.
He did, and no one could say, and it was after 3:10 at that point, so we decided to walk some more — stopping by the museum — and returned in time for the 4:05. Waiting for the bus, I was kind of amazed I used to hang out there in junior high. I would meet my friends downtown–either I got a ride or took the bus–and then take the bus home. The first time, I waited on the wrong side and missed one or two buses before I figured out all the routes didn’t stop at the same spot.
The #13 bus was possibly the longest local bus I have ever been on. We went east, we went south, we went north, we went west. I’m pretty sure we went in at least one circle We drove down small residential streets and waited at stop signs, pulled into a community center, a senior center, and at least one hospital. R. read his book. I tried to figure out where we were and texted a friend that this ride was the cheapest city tour ever. The direct routes on Google maps say it’s about 6 miles, but we did not take any of those routes.
The man across the aisle talked on his cell phone. Yeah, I know John; we were in treatment together…
Then he talked about buying something from a woman and said that was the same price he had seen. 35. I figured it was a craigslist purchase. R., who did happen to hear this part, was convinced it was a drug deal, saying the guy continued by saying something like I can’t say anymore. I’m on the bus. Who knows.
We finally made it to the neighborhood, about 50 minutes later, and got off at the right stop. We were walking towards the house when my friend drove by, on her way back from work. I wondered if you’d pass us, I said. I’d offer you a ride, but you’d be home in the time it took to get in the car, she said.
We made it, and it was only $1.75 a piece.
# 4 – Southbound
Following this interaction, I texted my husband, “If you know it’s a scam, but you give money anyway, can you still say you’ve been had?”
It was sunny and not wicked hot yet, and I only had 2 days of work left before a delightful, 9-day vacation in a colder climate. Two men stood at the southound stop on 4th at Broadway. One of them, with a mustache and crooked teeth, said as I passed, Excuse me, darling… This is embarrassing.
He motioned to the hospital bracelet on his arm–there were two, but the one I saw was an allergy alert.
I just got out of U of L Hospital [1 mile away] and they don’t give you bus fare. I’m just trying to get home.
Now, I have a dollar. He shows me a handful of change in his hand. But I just need fifty cents. This man, motioning to the older man standing nearby, gave me a dime.
I paused. I knew, but as I told him, You caught me at the right time. I pulled out two quarters and handed them over.
Thank you, darling! Now I can get home.
I continued to the other end of the bus stop and watched and waited. A few minutes later, he crossed the street and stood at the northbound corner. When the northbound #4 stopped, he walked east, out of view, toward the eastbound stop. A few minutes later, he reappeared and stood at the corner again. Then he crossed, heading north, away from the four closest (and main route) bus stops.
Enjoy your beer, today — it’s gonna be a hot one, I thought as I saw him walk away.