Monday, August 21, 2006

Dirt path by the train tracks / adventures on the bus

There is a dirt path that runs along the train tracks. I figured that out a few days ago and nowI ride along it whenever possible. It's very quaint and potentially dangerous, but probably mostly the action is the sort that high-school kids drinking miller at night might get into.

The park or path by the stream, river, lagoon, lake, or quarry (the beach is too wholesome and public) is another version of the dirt path by the train tracks. In certain parts of the country, the sand pit also serves the same function.

The bus driver kicked a woman off the bus today. I've seen this woman on the bus many times before. She's in her 30s and probably homeless and certainly ill. She carrys a plastic bag full of shredded newspaper and wears green sweatpants, a bright yellow parka, and slippers. This morning she dropped her money on the floor of the bus and I noticed she was carrying several hundred dollars--I saw three hundred-dollar bills and several twenties. Then, she sat down towards the back of the bus and mumbled to herself for a while, as she always does. Another woman was listening to music, but the music was loud enough that it was easily heard through her headphones.

Eventually, the woman in the green sweatpants walked up to the woman and said, "Please turn down your music. You are not allowed to have a radio."

The bus driver said, "she can listen to music with headphones, as long as it doesn't bother the other passengers."

The woman in the green sweatpants said, "It doesn't specify that she can use headphones. The sign says "no radios."

The driver said, "She can use headphones as long as it doesn't bother the other passengers."

And the woman in the green sweatpants yelled, "well, it's bothering me, and it's bothering my son, that's who it's bothering!"

The woman in the green sweatpants was standing, the woman with the headphones had turned off her music and was looking out the window, pretending that nothing was happening. The bus driver stopped the bus and said, "sit down!"

The woman in the green sweatpants yelled, "it isn't 'sit down,' it's 'take a seat!'"

"The next stop is your last one, maam," said the driver.

"It isn't maam, it's miss! it isn't 'sit down,' it's 'take a seat!'" the woman yelled back.

The driver used her radio to call the police. At the next stop--Miracosta College--I got off with the woman in the green sweatpants. There was already a police car there. The bus driver didn't stop or talk to the police, but continued on her route.

The police--also a woman--got out of her car and said, "Hi Patty. Take a seat and wait here for the next bus."


Ray said...

There was a man passed out on my street today. He was lying half on the sidewalk and half on the street, with his legs behind a parked car.

I wished it was my car, so I could call the police and say "There is a man passed out and I can't move my car," because if I just call the police and say "There is a man passed out," they will just say, "What else is new?"

Because what if he is too drunk and sick? Or what if he is not drunk and had a health emergency, like a heart attack or heat stroke?

Jessica Smith said...

why can't you tell the police that it's your car, even if it isn't? or you could call 911 and ask for the paramedics. they do that kind of stuff, don't they?

lorraine, your not-quite-right women are so interesting. or you're a good storyteller, or both.

talking to you reminds me that i need to buy beer at the grocery store.