FRIDAY: 48 degrees Fahrenheit and mostly cloudy skies. It was too hot in the building today, so waited outside near the exit door. A 60-ish, gray haired man with a navy blue windbreaker was checking the change return in the Pioneer Press and Star Tribune boxes at the curb. Nothing. He casually shoves his hands deep into his baggy Dockers and rocks on his feet, pulling out his metro ticket once or twice for reassurance. He turned around to look my direction, and as though suddenly a bit self-conscious, took several steps backward toward the building…encroaching a bit on my personal space. I get over it. He looks down 6th street toward the oncoming buses with the rest of us. Perhaps we can urge them along by compulsively checking our watches, groaning and sighing, and with the occasional temper tantrum. A skinny, hooded man is swaggering up the sidewalk. At first, I thought he was wearing an eye patch. As he came closer, I saw that it was dark, matted hair hanging over his eye. Perhaps the pirate thought I was watching him rather than the distant buses. He approaches me, and then briefly extends his hand outward. With his palm already holding coins, he asks, “Do you have any change for somethin’ to eat?” I answer truthfully, “Sorry. I got nothin’.” He offers a quick ‘god bless you’ and continues down the line. The man next to me leans in and laughs, “He’s the one with the money, we shoulda put the bum on him!” Bus comes at 10:02. On the ride in, I try to think of which co-worker I could put the bum on to get a latte.
SATURDAY: Bus arrives 9:59…right on time. Yesterday was only a few degrees cooler, but so dreary. Today it is mostly glorious sunshine. I enjoyed the short hike to the bus stop. There is energy in the air that makes this seem like a different city! After such a long winter, perhaps I have simply forgotten what springtime feels like. Did the Wild win last night? That may also have something to do with it. Today’s driver has some wild hair, that’s for sure. He has a thick gray-haired, bed-head with a comb-over. He could be Donald Trump’s angry, illegitimate half-brother. Of course, Donald knows nothing about him. If he did, this guy would be a supervisor at NYC Transit Authority, or maybe CEO of Trump Breweries. The bastard brother might create a potentially wildly popular signature ale and name it Pompous Jackass, only because the Stone Brewing Co. has a trademark on Arrogant Bastard. Alas, he is instead fated to barking out cross streets like a drill Sergeant and ordering passengers on and off the #54: “C’mon, we got a schedule to keep!” In my head I add, “…yes! It is imperative that this bus runs precisely 7 minutes behind schedule!” I agree; the humor is a bit too sophisticated for this crowd. (2 BEATS) Ok, let me explain why this is…umm…funny. (She sighs) Never mind.