Truth be told, I am still a Metro Girl. Maybe I haven’t been gone on my car ownership adventure as long as I imagined, but a few things have changed on the OKC Metro Transit System in my absence. For one thing there are more buses, new ones! I could never understand why a city spread further and wider than Los Angeles, located in the country's very center, has such a lousy local bus system. Old, smelly buses rattle and grind and cough their way out of a optimistically modern downtown terminal, complete with neighborhood art in primary colors. It just didn’t make sense. A taxi driver once told me that the gas and oil power players preferred it that way; it kept folks buying gas. I'm happy to see them come around. Maybe soon you’ll be able to catch a bus after 7:00 p.m. in this camp.
Happy Bob was on the bus this morning, his face brightened with a big hello. He always, always leaves the bus with a grand “Jesus loves you! Don’t forget!” and addresses people by name. To his proclamation this morning he added, “You gotta keep growing! You can’t stay the same!” A gratifying message from an 82-year-old fellow bus rider. Like a wood puppet, Bob has a seemingly unattached lower jaw that works independent of the rest of his face; he walks as if marching, his legs attached to stings held by a puppet master. When he smiles his eyes squint giving a glimpse of the child he was decades ago. But it’s his face after the smile that most intrigues me, after the grand proclamations of divine love when it pulls back into itself and his jowls slacken with life’s weight. This is not a conversation we have had.
A heavily accented man asked it I could help him correct the time on his watch. He had been struggling since last night. Not to be outdone by a watch, I took up his struggle and ten minutes later we had it figured out. Abraham is from Eritrea, his thin body and delicate face carry such sadness. With gestures of weeping and disgust he explained that his people cannot figure out how America, a predominately Christian country, could have divided Eritrea displacing millions of other Christians, those who are the protectors of the Arch of the Covenant. I have no answer for him. He thanked me for healing his watch.
The Senator Mechanic just called me. We’ll meet up later so he can assess Spunky’s situation. I was going to donate her to the public radio station. “Hey, hold on,” he said, “why don’t you sell it to a metal salvage place! Get yourself some money. Ask for five and take three-fifty.”
Ah, just like a true car salesman. Sounds like a plan. To the #13 and on to The Lot.