About a year ago, I pulled into my stop at 56th and 25th nw. Katy about mid 30s who stands about 5’4, uses a walker, ski cap over her forehead and just above the eyes that are the opposite of cross eyed. Jacket a bit too large, a scarf around her neck and pajama bottoms. Sneakers on her feet. I kneel the bus and ask if she would like the ramp…… “Yea” she responds. She uses the ramp as she begins her discussion. “I need to be careful, because I fall” Oh no, take your time, be safe, “ I know, I get in trouble when I fall, I hate that” She scoots and waddles, its apparent she has some kind of hip or leg issues. “I gotta get my pills for my blood pressure day” OK I said. The person sitting at the front vacated the seat for her, she started to settle in, “ don’t go yet, wait till I get seated please, I fall” I fell about a year ago at a stop I hate that, I get in trouble”. Oh no, I hope you were ok…. Are you ok? “yea” I check my computer, its about 2 mins to get her loaded and seated. We chat as I make my way down the road. She speaks slowly, a bit loudly. “ I gotta keep my walker near by recliner” she tells me, When I recline, then have to use the bathroom my legs fall asleep and I forget to take time to wake them, then I fall, I get into trouble when I fall. I hate that” I guess it’s hard to be careful all the time I said. “Yea” she said.
Mostly, our conversations go like this as I take her downtown where she transfers to another bus to her appointments. I find her kind of funny and enjoy seeing her as she wobbles with her walker, her googly eyes, snotty nose. Easy going and concerned that she might get in trouble if she’s not careful. She makes it to her appointments, grocery shopping, home.
She speaks slow, her pace of the conversation stretches out between stops and sometimes she focuses her conversation on me.
About a week ago:
“How late do you work”? Oh, about 630 tonight. Then is your wife making you dinner? No, I’m not married……. I pull into a stop and start to let people on, “You’re not married”? No…. I make it about halfway up the block. “How come”? I don’t know I said, I pull into another stop, “Women don’t like you”? I look at her, one of her googly eyes is behind her nit hat. Not really, I said. “Oh” We go up another block to a red light. “Are you nice to them”? Not always, I guess. The light turns green… “Maybe you should be nice, then you might get a date” Yea, I said. We pulled into a stop…. “Have you tried telling a joke? Yea, but that doesn’t always work… another minute goes by and she asks “you’re not funny”? No.
We arrive at her stop, I lower the ramp and she waddles off as I wish her a good night, she says “good night, Thank you”
Today I pick her up at Macys, she’s on her way to the grocery store, she complains she’s out of paper towels and has to remember to get them this time. “Ill remind you I said, “No” I can do it” I just have to remind myself, I keep my walker by my recliner, and when I get up to go to the bathroom, my legs are asleep, and I don’t give them time to wake up” I’m wondering if this has something to do with the paper towels. “I might have to get a caretaker, I get in trouble when I fall.
I know, I said, hate to see you get in trouble. “yea” she said. I’m thinking that our year long of trips have sort of bonded us in a way, where I know her routine a bit, and she knows me.
“How late do you work tonight” she asked. About 630 I said. Is your wife making dinner tonight? I smile and say, (and think I might dodge a bullet this time, so I lie…No, were going out tonight.
“Oh” we pull into a stop and I let some people on… “Does she make you shower before you go out”? Yea, I said. We make it to a light… “cause your sweaty”?
Yea, I work very hard I said. Another block… “Yea, you work hard” she sort of snickered it. I look at her “Does she drive when you go out”?
No, I drive. “How come”? well, she doesn’t like to drive, I do. “oh” we turn a corner and pick up a bit of speed. “I need to pick up paper towels” Ill remind you when we get there…. “No, I can do it.”
We arrive at QFC, I lower the ramp as she prepares herself to leave, “Are you nice to her”? I always try. “There is another driver that isn’t nice, he’s single” She’s at the end of the ramp… Pick up paper towels!! “I Know”
An older lady with blue hair blinks both her eyes at me while she leaves. I raise the ramp as Katy is waddling towards the store entrance.