Shall we say…10-ish?

The weekday bus is scheduled to make my 6th & Cedar stop at 10:00 AM, although some days it comes at 9:55. Today (Saturday) the scheduled stop is 9:52. It arrived at 9:59. I’m sure this arbitrary schedule makes good sense to somebody somewhere…the kind of somebody who wears business casual and drives an Infiniti to an office where he or she determines bus schedules based on reliable algorithms. All I know is, I could have had a second cup of coffee. My wait gave me an opportunity to observe the landscape. I notice a young black man standing on the curb. Military backpack, clean but wrinkled jeans and windbreaker. His hair is very close-cropped, yet he is compulsively brushing it. The small wooden brush with natural bristles fits neatly in the palm of his hand. He brushes front to back, back to front, side to side. A guy gets off the 21A. He’s wearing cargo shorts and a serious leather tool belt loaded with electrical tools. He begins pulling dozens of, what appears to be, envelopes and receipts from pockets in his jacket, pants and tool belt, and shoving them into the trash can. Normally, this trash can is near empty, but oddly, today it is stuffed with clothing. He has a bit of a challenge pushing the papers down into the clothing and out of the wind. After the 21A comes the 63 and the 74. The 54 arrived 3rd in line, making it necessary for us to walk the length of two buses, two bus shelters and a bank of newspaper vending machines. I see now that men’s clothing is strewn, randomly, the entire distance. Guess it couldn’t all fit in the trash. A sock here, a t-shirt there…and a single baby blue dress shirt draped neatly over the Pioneer Press machine. The way a person would do when choosing what shirt to wear with which tie. I imagine he chose the other one. I find an excellent seat. The young man boards after me..sitting in front so that I must watch him continue to brush his hair for the next 24 minutes. Front to back, back to front, side to side.

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