Don Bauder 7:49 p.m., May 22
Heading down the stairs to the mezzanine at the back of the car, I attempt a bank shot into the corner trash bin with the straw from my morning coffee, my other hand tightly grasping the handrail. I wait impatiently in line behind eight others who will disembark at the next station.
I am surrounded by a group of elementary and middle school kids headed to Parker or St Augustine’s, ultimately destined for USD, shoving each other, laughing, talking about ski vacations in the Swiss alps, speaking French or Italian into their cells, carrying overloaded backpacks, and lacrosse rackets in expensive monogrammed cases. Overall I’ve always been amazed at how polite these boys are, so I cut them a lot of slack during the 45-minute ride when they are having a rowdy day. It is usually amusing to listen to them.
Today there is a young girl with an expensive guitar and nimble fingers playing for the riders all the way to work. Sitting alone in a four-seat mezzanine section, with her feet propped up in front of her, she plays her guitar and sings, reminiscent of Suzanne Vega, or maybe Tracey Chapman. I glance at her several times, peeking between the seats. She has a foreign look, her skin an odd sort of yellowish orangey color, not a fake tan, natural looking, her hair is coarse and above her shoulders, reddish and kinky. Her shoes look like they are from Spain.
She plays really well, and her voice is melodious, perhaps a song writer. The lyrics romantic, the voice OK, the playing excellent. As the train lurches to a stop, I say Thank You, that was nice! I hear her say No Worries as the doors slide open and I head down the last few stairs to the main cabin, grabbing the vertical rail near the opening, placing my other foot, outfitted in sensible walking shoes, on the metal step to soften my descent to the platform.
I reassure myself that my handbag and lunchbox are a part of my baggage and quickly navigate a path through the other commuters. I glance to the right and then step into the street, in yet another futile attempt to make it across the bus lane before the #15 cuts me off. This week alone, two new drivers, or angry drivers, have attempted to run me down. Not just me, but anyone in the crosswalk. Perhaps they don’t know that pedestrians have the right of way? Or they just don’t give a shit. This morning, one driver had the nerve to lay on his horn so he didn’t have to stop at the crosswalk. Should I send a note to MTS? Risk management you know.