An Early Saturday Morning,
walking out to my assigned bus under the pink glow of TMOBILE Stadium. I saw a fluttering behind the windshield of 7024.
It settled down onto the steering wheel.
We looked each other in the eye,
its little beak tilted, and its eyes seemed to squint at me.
I began to open the side window, which made the little finch flutter again and fly to the back of the bus.
I reached through the window, started the engine and, opened both doors, continued my inspection around the coach.
Made my way to the front door. The finch was sitting on the storage box, squinting its eye at me.
“Good Morning,” I greeted,
It chirped an exclamated cuss word at me as it flew out the front door and over my head.
I uttered back to it,
“Stuck in a bus all night is no place for you”!
I quickly lost sight of that Cassin as it fluttered back to its freedom of sparse trees, brush, and freeway underpasses.
I searched for droppings, just one near the rear door.
My second run of 106 was quite a bit busier than average.
A woman in her 30s entered the bus very thin, worn jeans, faded green hoody, tennis shoes with holes, no socks. Clearly high on some kind of nonweed substance, but she was keeping to herself and quietly sat down about mid-bus, put her head between her knees, and began to sleep.
I checked on her when I reached the last stop in Chinatown.
She was out. I did manage to wake her, let her know where we were. She wanted to sleep. “OK, but you’ll have to exit the bus when we reach Renton” I let her have her sleep and made my way to the layover, then began my 3rd run.
When we reached Renton, she was still out but, after several attempts, did respond to my loud voice.
She wouldn’t leave, I let her know she needed to or I would have to call this in, “Do you need medical attention”?
No, she said,
Mam, I have to ask you to leave. We need to take this bus back on the routes, and you can no longer stay.
” I need a DR, she said.
Mam, I’ll call that in if you do need medical attention. They will make sure you get off the bus.
She faked going back to sleep.
I called it in,
let TCC know she asked for medical attention, but I had my doubts,
He sternly let me know they take medical requests seriously,
“OK, she asked,” I said.
Shortly both the police and fire department arrived,
asked her if they could help her, she declined medical attention.
“We can’t do anything if she declines help.”
the responder said.
The police took her by the shoulders and removed her from the bus.
I quickly closed the door as she tried to re-enter.
Her head was down, looking defeated and confused in my right mirror as I pulled away.
Later that evening, taking my walk through Lincoln Park, listening to birds being busy with their mating and territory calls, fluttering and settling in amongst branches of Cedars, Pine, and Alders.
Walking on Dirt trails between duos and singles found their way through the crowd. We were all wrapped in coats and scarves, knit hats hiding foreheads, cell phones being held to ears.
It was a crowd moving and in mid-stride to their collective destinations.
The Sun began to rest on the slow blue horizon
the crowd’s shadows were long, then disappearing while the sky turned grey.
Waves on the shore kissed rocks and sand
another Cassin Finch flew by my head and cussed a squeak.
I thought of my rearview mirror, a figure, thin,
head down, quiet with no movement, her shadow on the pavement beginning to shorten as the sunlight was above her.