Saturday, July 14, 2018

55 or 12 on 6

Deke's Note: Life ain't normal, man. Not sure what that is any more. I just roll it all into a blur and somehow come to the weekend half-sane.

I roll through a sea of strangers and their faces all blend into one distorted view. Other operators, if not in uniform, could be my best pals and unless they snap their groovy fingers at me, they could be anyone. Music fills me as the six roll us all as one. Could be just a few, 12 or 50 but we're all on one set of six rubber rounds.

My mind controls these fingers on the steer, but my soul is groovin' to whatever sounds fill this soul. Everyone else on the bus can groove to their tunes as they roll. That's okay. I need to hear sirens, obnoxious voices loudly spelling t-r-o-u-b-l-e and engine noises. A loud thunk isn't from running something over... I'm too focused to allow that; it's most likely an illegal window opener allowing the cool air built over 20 minutes to escape.

It had to happen eventually. Caged like a cornered bus operator. Damned fool things, band aids on a still-gaping wound. Supposed to keep the vicious at bay, but it cuts me off from the people I love: the good, fun and funky. As regulars lumbered on, I clawed at the partition. Mostly, they frowned at my prison. Many were disconcerted at being cut off. Daring censure, I opened the fucker as much as it allowed. Can't be myself when I'm behind a barrier. Like I'm the one in jail. Don't touch the guy who is daily touched by the kindness of my fellow humans. Keep your distance from one who likes you close.

I did have some fun, a bit of demented experimentia. Raised a cheek and relieved that cramped abdomen to see if anyone heard, loud and proud, closely watching the pax mirror. Not a raised eyebrow or pained expression. My window vented any stench, although I steadfastly claim rose-scented flatulence. Granted, I had both dash fans on full blast toward my window and my AC vent on tornado. Nary a whiff of my gases snorted by the masses. Gotta find the good amidst evil when Devil's the only witness.

Damn barriers. I hope they cut down on the assaults, but I'm still pissed that we would need them at all. Top bar blocks my view of the back seats. Plexi reflects glare, but not as bad as I thought it would. Oh well, broken records seldom get air time. What's a better idea? Our "Bored of Direct-duhs" and GM getting on a soapbox and screaming (viciously) that they expect the riding public to show respect and that they won't allow the behavior to continue. A District Attorney willing to protect us by refusing to plea bargain assaults on transit workers would be a nice rhythm section. I'd ask they "grow some balls," but I've found testicles to be incredibly delicate. Vaginas are much tougher; they are the birth canal through which we all emerge. So grow a pussy, you balls!

Easing down the hard streets finds a homeless tent crime scene... a hard woman was previously screaming at a cowering male. A break room under renovation and porta-potty ovens baking in Portland's summer sun break, with a trailer serving as a temporary hiding spot for harried drivers... air conditioning unit dead straight outta box. Road work statewide, chasing traffic into my way. Typical. Portland has two seasons: Rain and Construction, and the skies are currently clear.

Don't follow me here... you won't arrive where promised.

It's cloudy here most of the year. Even though we belly-ache and moan throughout the drizzly months, summer hits sudden and hard. It wears on us, blaring down the blazes in atonement for the months of gray skies until we say "UncleDamnit!" By mid-September, when the grasses seem to be void of any water content whatsoever, we yearn for the cool and beauty of a Northwest autumn. Before we know it, the water spigot will open again and a brief "Ahh" will be heard before the collective dreams of starshine creep into weather rambles.

Yeah, I still love my job. Barriers or no, I still get to drive around this beautiful forest of a city. Even management can't spoil the best parts of it. Thanks for riding with me.


  1. "Grow a pussy, you balls." LOL.

  2. We bus operators in Akron, OH still operate our coaches 'au natural', that is shieldless. I hope it will always be that way.

    1. Shout out to Akron! I had a great aunt who once lived there. Thanks for the note!