Some Interesting People

During a late winter weekday I pulled into the stop by the Mission, it’s a busy stop, several bus routes stop there and its near the stadiums and international district. Mostly it is a stop used by homeless and people of various abilities.

In my first few months of driving I had a situation come up and wasn’t aware of a proper procedure to handle the situation or if there was one, so I did my best to deal with it.  This story is not for sensitive readers due to its explicit nature and sexual content. I chose to write the story as it happened and use the words spoken to me.

During a late winter weekday I pulled into the stop by the Mission, it’s a busy stop, several bus routes stop there and its near the stadiums and international district.  Mostly it is a stop used by homeless and people of various abilities.

This day, I picked up several people, two of them It struct me as the guy, and his case worker, he seemed straight off the street, and she was dressed in nice jeans, carrying a leather bag but wearing a white T shirt and no bra… ( I mentioned its late Winter) They sit in front and I hear them talk, she is relying on him to take her to a certain bus stop, he is assuring her he will make sure she gets there, a few stops later a friend of his boards the bus and they talk, he introduces his friend to her and he gets off at the next stop explaining that his friend will take her the rest of the way. He seems respectful and nice as he tries to get to know her, she gets angry with him, “ I don’t know you, I don’t trust you, leave me alone,”  He’s embarrassed by her outburst, apologizes says he’s not going to hurt her, this doesn’t work so he moves to the back of the bus.  She approaches me and asks if she can stand by me as she doesn’t trust “that man”  I tell her of course, you can stay here, you’ll be fine, we start a bit of small talk, she tells me she just lost her place and last night was her first night on the street.  “I’m sorry” I said, that sounds rough, “I was raped” she said, What? I asked… are you OK? I can call someone get them to meet us… “NO, she said, I just… not trusting anyone right now” I know of a women’s shelter I can drop you off at, but its not until I head back into town……  “I know where I want to go, I’ll just stay here for now, OK I said.  We got to the end of the route, I needed to use the restroom, she followed me into the store and waited for me to come back out and followed me back to my bus for my break.  We chatted a little about how she lost her job, an ex-screwed her over with money and it was time to begin my next run.  I start down the road and have just a couple of people on the bus, she leans closer to me and starts describing the rape in every detail, being  held down by 4 guys and how she decided to open her mouth……  It was clear to me she was messing with me and wanted a “reaction” I told her I needed to focus on my driving and will get her to her shelter.  She left a few stops before the shelter telling me, she was ok and changed her mind.

I saw her again a few months later, she was dressed in a school girls outfit, no bra, white shirt, glasses on, pig tails and addressed me as “Hi Mr Bus Driver” again, she seemed sexually suggestive,  but a whole different personality.  I wondered how many personalities she has and if they are all sexually suggestive.

During a break on a recent Saturday, parked at my layover by the station, a man mid-40s, dark hair, wearing kakis and a back pack, that was very inebriated, knocked on my door, I hesitantly opened it and he immediately asked me why Metro drivers are so fucked….. I shook my head and started to close the door, he said, “NO, sorry, look I’m just trying to get to Ballard, and that fucker dropped me here” I see I said, ( knowing he probably was asleep and wasn’t discovered until the last stop… happens a lot) Look, to get to Ballard you’ll have to  walk to the other side of that building, use the stop there to get downtown, then det on the D Line.  He stepped on my bus and tried to walk by me, I said, no, your not getting on here…. “too late” he said, NO…. get off the bus now!  He complied, but as he stepped down and turned he said I was a vet you unamerican bastard, I was in Afghanistan, Iraq, I woulda been in Nam, but I wasn’t born yet… in fact, I’m gonna get my buddies and were gonna kill you, were gonna come to your house, burn it down and kill you… where do you live?  I started to shut the door, he stepped by to avoid the door and fell onto his back. When he hit the ground he swung his fist, didn’t hit anything, still on his back, he kicked, “FUUUCK” he yelled, Fuck you!! His kick didn’t connect with anything as he laid on the ground squirming…. (cleanest fight I had ever won)

He crawled a few feet and managed to get on his feet, walked a few steps fell over.  I called it in, described what had happened and they sent out the transit police who got him off the ground, determined he was not dangerous and left him in some bushes… Not sure what happened to him after that.

3rd and Madison

He wore a Captain America Watch

Third and Madison

     As I was watching people waiting for their buses it occurred to me that I have only written about the homeless or odd characters that I see on the streets.  I had to ask myself why?  As a people watcher the odd people stick out and gain the most attention I guess, but aren’t we all odd?  I think all of us consider ourselves unique and rightly so, and for whatever reason we may not show the world how unique we are, but I heard once that you can not escape from being yourself.

Dressing for work is not what it used to be.  Casual Friday has turned into Casual week.  (At least here in Seattle) There are exceptions of course, and those people stick out more … Perhaps they are Lawyers, Accountants, Upper Management?  Mostly I see Jeans, sometimes black jeans, sometimes docker sort of things, button-down shirts, rarely do I see ties now.  There is one Gentleman, very stylishly chosen items, If you have ever seen one of Gregory Porters videos ( Jazz Singer with a great sense of style, that is only surpassed by his fantastically great voice) This Gentleman dresses similarly, except its all about 1 size or 2 too small, He must be in his late 60s and I’m guessing at this point in his life he is not going to buy any new clothes.  Blue blazer, white button-down shirt with an orange plaid, bright flower tie, light beige vest, tan slacks and brown wing tips, fedora, white beard neatly trimmed, semi long hair.  Some days he has a walking stick, somedays when he works at home, a briefcase. Ill Scan his card and say good afternoon, he repeats “good afternoon sir”   

He wears a Captain America Watch.

Its Mid-Summer here, days are over 75 and most 80 or more,

A young, beautiful Asian woman walks by in a ¾ length black leather skirt with a heavy sweater chevron pattern in gold and orange

I saw her walking from a block away, I scan her card she smells like lilacs, hair is perfect and no sign at all she might be warm under all that heavy clothing.

Not long ago, I walked through the Seattle version of the  Amazon Jungle,  Its where Amazon has centered itself here, I recommend going there if you haven’t seen it yet, I’m convinced as you walk through there your stepping into the future of how business is done.  Lots of dogs leashed to their owners, tablets or laptops on Bistro tables, people talking over their screens sharing info as they upload documents to each other then move to the next person, Fresh fruit is handed out for free by vendors, health food, veggie and fruit smoothies, and a dog café and indoor dog park where people work as their dogs socialize.

No suits in site.

A Security man dressed in a black uniform and black-tie walks by a couple of the dogs take notice and sniff the air after him then go back to their business.

A couple from Rome approached me today for directions and info, he dressed in casual slacks, salmon colored polo, she in capri pants and white blouse over a yellow tube top, they were beautiful, he looked like Cary Grant, she wasn’t far behind Sofia Loren.  She is a Contracts Lawyer in Rome, He’s a Banker, they are spending the summer on our west coast and just came up from Oregon yesterday. They wanted info on how to get to the Ballard locks.  Also, did I know a place to buy some football magazines? Her brother is a fan of the Redskins….  I pointed them to Bartells, they came back a few minutes later, huge smile on her face that she scored a couple of great magazines.

We chatted a bit and laughed easily with each other, he took a selfie with the 3 of us, I gave them a pair of free bus passes waved to them as they left my stop, both of them blew me a kiss as they left.