I’m driving North on College way at about 7:15 am on a Saturday.
It lays in front of North Seattle Community College, which has a Park like feeling with Natural growth trees and wetland.
I have seen birds of all varieties, rabbits, raccoons, many squirrels.
It makes a nice drive as it is in contrast to my trip through town with its landscape of homeless camps, broken windows, traffic.
That morning as I arrived at 98th street stop sign,
To the right, almost to the sidewalk, a mother duck was pecking at what I believe was her male. Its Greenhead twisted over its back, legs splayed in a way that isn’t possible for unbroken bones.
Her babies nervously quacking and jittering movements the Mom quacking back torn between leaving him and protecting her babies.
Ducks seem to struggle daily to get by.
I pull into my next stop.
One of my regulars, an elderly gentleman whose right arm hangs dead
He tucks the hand of that arm into his jacket pocket as he moves by me.
A young couple are blowing out a mouthful of weed before they enter the bus.
They look at me confused when I say good morning, move to the back without a word or paying.
Traffic is a bit heavy that morning as I make my way to Market Street in Ballard. Then right to head south on Leary way.
I pass homeless tents that have been there through the pandemic.
One of the Tents has a fire going in their pit. Its black smoke is dirty from burning some oil-based product.
The Sun hits my eyes pretty strong just before I pass under the Ballard bridge as I move closer to Freemont.
I open my door at the Leary way and 8th street stop.
A young man, 20 maybe…. Has his fentanyl pipe out, as my doors are open he says, wait a minute… then lights his pipe.
I close my doors refusing him entry as I continue on to Freemont.
He is yelling at the bus as I pull away
“Are you kidding me”??
I’m stopped in Freemont where the bridge is up, load up another regular on his way to work, taps his card, and sits in the center bench seat very back.
The young couple try to engage him in conversation,
He has no time for them.
I’m driving through downtown, on 3rd ave, they have done a lot to clean up the streets.
Less tents, less garbage, but I get the impression they are playing homeless “whack amole “as people are just more spread out now.
Union stop I let someone off
A homeless guy unshaven for months, old dirty jeans, t-shirt dirty coat, hair crusted with gunk jumps on eating his cereal out of a plastic cup. Gets off at the next stop, grunts then throws his cereal cup onto the floor spilling its milk and raisin bran onto the floor.
I’m now at my layover in front of the Central base.
The Security and Sheriff people are with another homeless guy who is laying on the sidewalk next to a bus stop.
His pants are below his hip, the rest of his clothes are a mess,
The Sheriff is loudly asking him…..
Heroin? Did you take Heroin?
The sun is directly over them, blue sky with very few white clouds, there are shadows cast by standing people in the center of this turmoil, sidewalk with trash of old food, cans, liquor bottles.
Police car lights flashing orange, red, white.
It is the Mallard I think of,
Crossing the street with his family in front of him at the sidewalk as he is struck, twisting his neck and back as he is forced under the car then thrown to the side.
His last moment had his family in view walking towards a pond amongst trees with the sun in the sky with few white clouds to cloud his day.