An elderly woman entered my bus just before the bridge in Freemont.
She asked what the best way to get to the convention center over freeway park was.
I responded that I could drop her off at 3rd and Pine, then she should walk to Pike, catch the 10, and let the driver know where she is going. The driver will make sure you get as close to there as we can.
“Thank you. She said”
A young gentleman entered after her; my guess is he is 18 or so, sagging jeans, a red jacket and hat, dark sunglasses. He didn’t speak as he walked by and stood next to her.
They started a conversation,
“My son is giving a presentation at the convention today; I’m going to watch him,
“That’s nice,” he said. They chatted on, and he shared he had just started community college until he figured out what he wanted to do.
They hit it off, she over 80, chatting it up with him, and his heart seemed to warm to her as well.
We arrived at the stop at 3rd and Pike,
He stepped off first, took her hand, and helped her off the bus,
explaining to her that he would make sure she got to her next stop ok.
Together they crossed through the crosswalk. He kicked a used soda can out of their way, trashed papers blew against the building in front of them that had its windows covered with graffitied plywood.
I continued south on 3rd to the Marion stop
and remembered a building that was recently replaced.
There was a mural painted on the side of a building.
It was an advertisement for Coca-Cola that had been painted long ago.
It faced north. Over the years, its red background softly blended into the wall of brick the building was made of. The white letters of Cocacola greyed of Seattle’s salt air and urban grime.
I had always imagined it had been there for decades facing north, it’s classic graphic lasting those decades from being bright and new, fresh in appearance and promise of being of the times.
A testament to excellent marketing.
Then fading with its nostalgia becoming part of the background, to fading that softened with its color as a newer building demands its space. Then one day, the graphic against those old, well-witnessed bricks are gone and replaced with new metal, glass, and stone that will take the oversight of Seattle’s buildings and comings and goings for the next any number of decades as it takes in the saltwater air and urban grime.
That is the task of our buildings as we walk in and out and pass them.
They are tools that are built for our convenience. Our current fashion will add paint decoration or slapped on attributes,
When they begin to lose their convenience, they have lived their life and will make room for another that will become the new witness in their place.
I often think of a phrase spoken by a Monk:
We are what we think; All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.
And I find all this humanity, In a Bus.
AKA: Eric Hall, 22673 Ryerson Base
For more stories: Transittransientsandotherstories.com
One thought on “Matriarch”
Wow, well written and heartfelt. Thank you