Babs told me about two great stories that happened recently on the C-Line. I hope I can do them justice; really, it would have been funniest just to video record her telling the stories. But I'll see what I can do.
Joan The Baptist
Babs boarded a full C-Line the other day going from downtown to West Seattle. People were standing, and naturally there had to be one lone mentally impaired woman among the commuters. One "old, crumply, crinkly-clothed, super skinny" mentally impaired woman who stood with her hands in the plastic loops above the seats. She mumbled to herself among the hum and chatter.
Let's call this lady Joan. Joan was on a totally different plain than the others. Every so often she would burst into song - LOUDLY - proclaiming barely coherent verses about Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Then, as quickly as it began, it was over and she was mumbling again.
Babs was not alone in feeling relief when Joan got off at the next stop down the line.
We should probably all ask ourselves, "Is Jesus driving our bus?" He was driving Joan's bus, that's for sure. This cup is available on Zazzle.com if you want to get one for the next crazy gospel singer you encounter - or if you know a Hispanic man named Jesus.
Hee-Haw Meets Crackhead
According to Babs, few buses are as quiet as the 6:20 a.m. C-Line from West Seattle Junction to downtown. It is like a tomb filled with zombies. But not yesterday!
A crackhead we'll call, uhm, Crackhead got on. She was your standard, loud, muffin-topped, low-rise jean-wearing Seattle crackhead. This one had been up all night puffing the glass pipe. Babs was sitting in the sideways seats near the middle of the bus, so she had a great vantage point for hearing Crackhead take a seat at the back.
"Hello friend! You goin' to work?"
"Well HeLLO, friend. You goin' to work?"
"Hello friend! Are you goin' to work?"
Crackhead spoke to all of the half-asleep commuters in the back. Bless her heart for trying to reach out to the workers of the world! When she realized she was getting no response from them, she backtracked to the middle of the bus and sat down. She produced a bag of jalapeno potato chips and began loudly eating them.
Sitting across the aisle from her was an older man who Babs referred to as Hee-Haw. Apparently he looked like one of these guys:
No one told the dude on the left his overalls were on back'ards.
Crackhead looks over to Hee-Haw and says, "Hey Gramps, you goin' to work?" He replied he was. The two had a pleasant conversation. He worked construction. He also enjoyed jalapeno chips. And then, Crackhead leans down into the aisle as though she might barf. Babs' worst fear at 6:20 a.m. was about to happen. Miraculously, Crackhead held it together.
"Hey Gramps, what's in the cup?" asked Crackhead, referring to Hee-Haw's travel mug.
And then the unthinkable happened.
"Can I have some?" she asked, as though it was perfectly okay to ask a stranger for a drink of coffee to wash down jalapeno ships and crack cocaine residue.
And then the superunthinkable happened.
Even Britney knows that ain't right.
(Incidentally, this animated .gif came up in a Google search for "vomit face.")
The two continued their small talk, and Crackhead continued asking for sips of Hee-Haw's coffee. Eventually, she became so comfortable she simply reached over and took the travel mug without asking. Babs said she didn't see Hee-Haw drink from the cup after Crackhead did, so that is good. He either had to take it home and boil it or toss it when he got off the bus.
Realizing the trip was nearing an end, Crackhead began searching for a phone. She asked everyone around if she could borrow theirs, and finally Hee-Haw let her use his dinosaur flip phone.
Her conversation was odd, but it was obvious she was trying to meet her dealer.
Crackhead, to Dealer: "I don't know - hold on. What bus is this?"
Hee-Haw: "It's the C-Line to downtown."
Crackhead: "Where are we going?"
Hee-Haw: "Uhm, downtown. Downtown Seattle."
Crackhead: "What direction are we going?"
Hee-Haw: "North. Well, a little North and a little East. I need my phone back. My stop is coming up."
Crackhead: "What stop is next?"
Hee-Haw: "I really need my phone back. The 3rd & Union stop is next." [Hee-Haw was thinking of the old 54 bus that stopped at 3rd & Union. The first C-Line stop is 2nd & Seneca.]
Crackhead continues talking, then hands the phone back to Hee-Haw asking him to explain to Dealer where she is. Exiting the bus, he flips the phone shut.
"YOU HUNG UP ON HER!! Oh my GOD! Does someone have a phone I can use?!"
Hee-Haw shook his head and left the bus. To think he shared so much with her. Their common like of jalapeno chips. The nectar of morning coffee. Smiles and heartfelt conversation. His Nokia flip phone. But most of all, his compassion toward a lady who had been up for days on end, cranked up on drugs.
Let us all find courtesy toward others on the bus - and know when to end it before it becomes irritating and disgusting.
I need that guitar more than any of you know.