I haven’t taken the 8:45 in awhile. When I took the bus regularly in the fall, I got to recognize most of the drivers on my route between 8 and 9:30. I took a break from the bus for about two months and all the drivers have changed now! I intended to take the 8:30 this morning, but missed it by just a couple seconds. I went down to the bus stop to wait anyway, to make sure i wouldn’t miss the 8:45. The bus was already at the stop waiting to leave. A lot of bus drivers take this waiting time to take a break and read, pace up and down the bus, talk on the phone, and leave the door closed. The lady driving the bus this time opened the door and waved me in. “It’s still pretty chilly out,” she said cheerily.
We started chatting a little while waiting to go. I told her that I missed the earlier bus by just a tiny bit because I hopped in the shower a little too late. She laughed and told me that she hit snooze on the alarm clock a couple times, too. One by one as different passengers got on her bus, she greeted them cheerfully. The last passenger to get on the bus before we left walked briskly to the stop. The driver laughed, “Here comes my jogger!” Then she said mischievously, “watch this” and started the engine and laughed when he started running. She told me that sometimes she inches down the street a little just to see if there’s anyone else that’s rushing to catch the bus from down the lane on the right.
We talked a little more until the bus started to fill up and I had to move back a couple seats. The driver seemed to know most of the people on the bus, which I suppose makes sense, given that she’s been driving this route every day for the past 3 months. She smiled and said hi to all the regulars and was friendly to all the new riders as well, asking them how they’re doing and waving people goodbye as they headed off to work for the day. I’ve been trying to catch the bus at 8:18 or 8:30 every day recently, but maybe I’ll start taking the 8:45 from time to time too.