I've gone green. It's not that I didn't want to earlier, but it took an empty bank account and a crapped out transmission to get me on the stick. Taking the bus has gone from a challenge to an adventure. I've become a lot more confident about venturing far and wide without benefit of my own wheels. In the end, though, all roads lead to the Ground Transportation Center.
Both city buses and interstate buses use this hub. Every now and then there is an announcement for a Trailways bus leaving for distant destinations, but most of the din is the chatter of folks waiting for city buses. Saturdays are "green" meaning everyone rides free. This day there were families with many kids making connections to get to the store. I don't do my grocery shopping on the bus. I can't handle carrying the heavy stuff from the bus stop to my apartment. I cannot imagine how difficult it must be for a parent (or even two) to take a family on a long bus ride to get groceries. It's got to amount to a whole day's travel and untold strain.
There are often people talking very loudly. I'm not sure why they find it necessary to share their conversations with the world, but today, I perked up. In the row of chairs behind me were a couple of women talking quietly between themselves. A scruffy man walked up and the volume escalated. It seems that someone they all knew was discovered dead behind a dumpster this morning. Soon, a pair of young people came up and joined in. What became apparent fairly quickly is that all of these people are homeless. The dumpster was behind a church where they go to get food or other services. The older man said he doesn't go there anymore, but didn't say exactly why. The young couple were visibly shaken and sat down. Both men said that they'd better not find out who had hurt the dead man. One of the original women then said, "We're all meeting down by the boat dock at one." I knew there was a network of homeless folks because I hear them talking on the buses about the circuits they make to get fed and find shelter. Between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. this morning, these folks had somehow managed to spread the word about a meeting this afternoon.
I don't know why I am writing this. I just had to put it down somewhere. I see homeless people sleeping in the park. Every now and then I get panhandled for a buck or a cigarette. I always look them in the eye, smile, and greet them like I'm glad to see them. I hate that they feel invisible and it makes me feel good when I can at least prompt a bit of a smile. I don't know who died, or why, but I do know that there is a loose family of choice out there that cares about him. I didn't spend hours making this any kind of literary masterpiece. I just had to write it down...
Located the article just before I posted.