The Uphill Slide

There is always something.

Shelter From the Cold – Part 2


A round woman dressed for the cold boarded the bus awkwardly with a cart stuffed to overcapacity. She had plastic bags stuffed and stacked into the wire cage with a 33 gallon black garbage bag mounding all her belongings. She paused for a nanosecond at the two empty seats beside me set aside for seniors and people with disabilities or such as her dragging a load. The man with crutches sank into the seat opposite me beside the bundled up young children with their mother. The lady dragging and bumping her cart kept moving back. The bus pulled away from the stop. Suddenly she was swearing. At someone? I couldn’t see past the others standing in the aisle. Or was she one of those persons who swears so often that the words lose their potency? One of those persons who regularly assaults the air and ears of bystanders young and old? The driver stopped the bus and turned around in his seat.

“There’s no need for that language. I’m not going to take it this year. You’ll find yourself riding another bus.” He turned back around still talking. It was January 1st, and he had declared his New Year’s resolution. Eject abusive and inconsiderate riders. But he didn’t throw her off although she stopped swearing. He continued chiding her for not taking one of the seats in the front that were specially designated for riders like her.

She said, “It’s warmer in the back.” He pulled out keeping to his schedule.

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