Skip to main content

Year Three, Day 261: The Belligerent Man, The Bus Driver, and the Woman in a Poncho

I just had a most entertaining bus ride!

I had just gotten of the Max at the Hollywood Transit Center. I was coming down the steps, when I saw the #75 to Milwaukie entering the parking lot. That was my transfer bus!  I didn't want to miss it, because at this time of day, it might be a 20 minute wait until the next one.

I had just come from a lovely sushi lunch with  my daughter and Baby Gracie at Cascades Station.

The plan was for me to teach my piano students and then return to Vancouver tonight. My daughter has much work to do at home and we all know that working at home with a 5 month old baby is a bit of an oxymoron!

Anyway, I hurried down the stairs, being very mindful. The steps were slippery in the Portland drizzle. Slipping and falling would kind of put a cramp in my day.

I slowed down when I noticed there was a long line of passengers waiting to board. At the end of the line was an older, distinguished looking gentleman.  He was wearing a long overcoat and hat.  He nodded at me.  I smiled and got in line behind him. Usually wheelchair passengers board first, so the driver can put down the ramp. But I guessed he was pretty mobile and just using it as a walker. On top of his wheelchair was a laptop and a sack containing what looked like his lunch. He was wearing big headphones underneath his hat.  As he boarded, I noticed him talking to the driver. I thought they were exchanging pleasantries, until his voice got louder and louder.  I heard the bus driver say she was not that familiar with this side of town.  I eased up closer.

"Where are you going?" I asked. (I am MOST familiar with this side of town.  I have an internal GPS!)

He turned and looked at me.

"What is the name of that large park nearby?"

"Laurelhurst Park?" I suggested.

"Yes! And what street is it on?"

"Stark", I said confidently.

He glared at the bus driver.

"Kindly tell me when to get off", he instructed her.

She glared back.

"I might be busy driving", she said. "The bus computer will announce the stop and it will be on the screen".

He told her he was hard of hearing and wearing headphones. 

I told him I would be happy to help him debus at his stop.

He seemed quite perturbed.  He told the bus driver not to drive off until he was seated. I relayed the info to her.

For the next 10 minutes until we reached his stop, he was quite antagonistic.  He kept speaking into his phone. He described the bus driver as "female, overweight and rude".

There was a middle aged woman sitting opposite me. I had complimented her on her camo-waterproof poncho.  She was taking none of this man's abusive talk.

She told him straight away that he should not make judgments about the driver's appearance.

"And the driver did nothing wrong", she stated.

I felt my antenna come up as their banter became a bit heated. They even entered the realm of God, prayer, Christianity, Islam, Jesus, and Ishmael.

I sat there watching warily.  The interesting thing is that neither one of them seemed to lose their cool. I laughed a few times because they were quite entertaining.

"You two are funny", I commented.

When I looked at the gentleman, he smiled at me. His eyes were twinkling. He was enjoying himself!

I just wish he hadn't been so verbally abusive.

Soon we approached his stop. I told him gently that this was his stop. He told the lady in the poncho that he was reporting her and the bus driver.  But as he stood up, he looked at me and reached out his hand.

"Bless you", he said.

"You too", I smiled. "Stay out of trouble!"

As he approached the driver, she told him she had already filed a complaint against him.

"I beg your pardon?" he asked, stopping his descent.

"Call 238-RIDE", she said.

He stepped off the bus.

We all laughed nervously.

"I wonder if he is recently disabled to have such a chip on his shoulder?" I asked.

"I have run into him on bus routes for over five years", said the driver, smiling at me in her rear view mirror.

"I wonder if he will really file a complaint?" I asked.

"He does every time", she said. "I have learned to report him first."

I looked at poncho lady.

"So sad", I shook my head. "He obviously enjoyed the attention.  But I would have talked to him anyway, if he was lonely. There was no need for him to be so hostile".

"I have a friend who acts just like him", said poncho woman. She had pulled out a burrito from her bag and was munching thoughtfully.  "She complains about everything!"

My stop came up. I wished the bus driver and poncho woman a wonderful day.  As I stepped off the bus, I felt a warm rush of warmth.

I am curious about the belligerent man. I wonder about his home life. About his past.

And I wonder what lesson for me is here?  These little events stand out in my mind like still shots.  They are out of my ordinary routine.  And I take notice.  I do know I am proud of myself for not sinking to hostile reaction.  Actually I am proud of the entire bus for how he was handled. And that warm handshake from him as he exited warmed my heart.

Recently I mentioned to my daughter that sometimes when people are cranky, especially older people, it is because they are not feeling well.  It helps us to feel compassion and not over react if we consider where they are coming from.

It does not always help us from getting heart. But a little compassion goes a long way.

That is my blog for today.  I am off to teach piano to my wonderful students. And then back to spend time with my granddaughter, who I never get enough of!

Hopefully, I am not boring you, my reader with her pictures!

The picture below is with Grace visiting me at the church where I teach. She loves listening to my piano students!

Talk to you tomorrow.



P.S. I will add my hooping video tonight. I am enjoying night hooping. I think I am going to find some glow in the dark material to make it more interesting to watch!


Popular posts from this blog

Year Four, Day 31: Sleep Business

I did it! I survived my sleep study.
It was quite intense. I think my expectations were a bit skewed. I was envisioning more like a mini retreat.  
It was all business. Sleep business.
And the minute the lights went out and the door shut behind the sleep technician as she whispered, "good night", I went into full panic mode.
Luckily I was really tired.  She had asked if I wanted to watch a bit of television before I fell asleep. But I declined. I knew to take advantage of the heavy lidded, dull brained feeling I had when I was really sleepy. Television might wake up my brain.
As she was attaching my electrodes, I watched a show on Animal Planet called "Lone Star Law", about Texas game wardens. I was hooked!  It was fascinating. I rarely watch tv, and we don't have cable at home, thankfully.  But this show drew me in. In retrospect, I should have continued to watch it until I fell asleep.
Something about being hooked up, tucked in, lights off, door closing, fel…

Year Four, Day 41: The ER

This morning about 4 a.m. I woke up with severe stabbing pains in my jaw.  My whole head, face and neck felt like someone had it in a vice. And was turning the lever.

I had already taken a dose of Thera-Flu before bed. Since Wednesday morning is my time with Gracie, I wanted to make sure I was well rested.  I didn't want to be groggy on Gracie duty.
But with the pain I was experiencing, I was questioning how effective I would be at all. 
I was wide awake, holding my jaw as everything throbbed.  I made a decision to take another dose of Thera-Flu.  The package said I could take one dose every 4 hours.  
So I boiled some water and sat hunched over the kitchen table.  I poured the hot water over the powder. As I waited for it to cool, I put my face close to the cup. The hot steam gave my poor face a bit of relief. 
I was wondering if I had a sinus infection. My throat was sore and raw.  I was congested. Had a bit of a cough. The jaw pain was troubling. Last week when my allergies we…

Year Three, Day 308, 309 and 310: I'm Back...

...from the brink of death.

Most dramatic am I.  But I feel like I went to hell and back this weekend.

One mistake was to take over the counter medication (Tylenol, Thera-Flu and Ibuprofen) and drink massive caffeine in order to make it through teaching classes on Friday.

I felt really good until early evening. Then it felt like my head was going to explode. My cough returned with a vengeance, dragging along massive sneezing and nose dripping.

Then like a big dummy I downed another mug of Thera-Flu before bed. I didn't even consider cancelling Saturday breakfast with my mom. And definitely could not afford to cancel anymore piano lessons.

Oy, I felt miserable Saturday morning. But I managed to get up and stagger down the road to the bus stop just in time. I was halfway to our regular restaurant before I remembered it was St. Patrick's Day. I looked down at my outfit. Not a speck of my favorite color green. So, before I joined my mom, I stopped at Rite Aid in search of a little…