An older gentleman that I believe to be in his late 60s early 70s, definitely a hippy, hopped on to my bus and explained he was from out of town and has no idea how much it costs to use our bus. I said, “well, people in their 20s pay 2.75, people a bit more mature pay a dollar” Through his long beard his toothless smile chuckled and he said “ Im a bit past 20 but still immature” good for you sir, that will be a dollar and Ill give you a transfer for the next bus. Yea, I’m heading up to Shoreline and need to get on some giddy bus” giddy bus? I said…. “something like that, a buddy of mine has an art show at the Shoreline town hall I’m in town to see it. Very cool I said, I think you want the
E line, yea, that’s it. We were chatting as we headed down the road, Ill let you know when we get to that stop, great he said, I just got in from Spokane about an hour ago, I hitchhiked…. Really? That’s a long ride…. Yea, been 4 days, I picked up a ride to Republican, then over to Wenatchee, down to Arlington, then up here… sheesh that is a journey, yea, I like to get out at least once a year, hitch a ride and go for a bit…… you do that as a thing? I asked, oh yea, been doing it for years, my buddy said I should see this show, so this was a good reason for the ride…. You’re a good friend I said as we arrived at his transfer… I reached out and shook his hand, He struck me as a guy that’s had a lot of good conversations.
There has been what I believe is a Mother and Son that get on my bus in Ballard and ride into town, or from town to Ballard, her health has been on the decline and she moves a bit more slow each time and now has a hearing aid and wears dark glasses. I tilt the bus for her, she is careful with her cane as her son holds her arm, they sit close and chat to each other. He is very attentive, they seem very close. It reminds me of my mothers last days, as hard it is to watch a parent that is in their end of days, I think of my moms as some of the sweetest times I had with her.
She had Leukemia. The last few weeks were a fast decline, I lived near by and would go to her place each morning to check on her before work and after. One morning she was having a difficult time getting out of bed. Mom was a big woman helping her out wasn’t easy, As I got her to her feet, she passed out, It was all I had to keep her from falling, and because of her size and physical condition, getting her back on the bed was more than I could do, I held her up in a bear hug. I had my cell phone in my pocket and called 911 and explained the situation, and let them know her bladder just let lose, the dispatcher said they wouldn’t be long.
I called into work and let them know I wouldn’t be in, she started to come too and started to cry, I’m so embarrassed she said, Mom, don’t worry about that, they are on their way, we will get you checked in for a few days…….. As upsetting as that memory sounds, and the loss of some very nice Italian shoes, I find it to be a moment of intimacy that is unforgettable one of those moments of love and understanding that can only be achieved with a lifetime behind it.
I envy them as much as I cringe at what will come next for them.
Don is a middle-aged man that lives in one of Seattle’s halfway houses, Don has a great nature, positive, fun, he doesn’t have walls nor is he shy from sharing anything. He Physically seems to be in great shape, and I believe his situation is simply a limited mental capacity, which has never seemed to bother him.
His favorite coat is his mariner coat, he has gone to the expense of printing pictures of all his favorite mariner players on this coat, he shows it off with great pride, explains which picture is, when they played he shares a memory of them and there must be 30 or 40 pics on this coat…. It’s a good-looking jacket, I’m surprised no one has stolen his idea yet.
I see Don usually around the Denny area, lately he sells a local newspaper to people as they pass by, he loses interest as the pigeons flock to him, he loves his birds, they sit on his arms and shoulders as he feeds them, laughing, having a blast that these birds flock around him, sometimes must be a crowd of 30 or 50 birds around him as he puts bread crumbs and seeds on his shoulders, feet, hands , head he waves as people drive by.
Life should always be as happy as feeding birds.