Tabatha Deans

Bringing Integrity to the Written Word

The Regional Transportation District changed several of their bus and train schedules after the first of the year. One of the routes they discontinued was my Saturday transportation to the office. But, being an award-winning agency, they still offered a bus route that would get me to and from work. Today, I decided to try the new route to get a feel for what I was in for, and how long it would take.
Step one was already a little scary. The bus picks up on Colfax, the street of “diversity” here in Denver. Diversity applies to anyone scary, homeless, of any color, nationality or sexual orientation. Colfax is actually a very cool street to walk down, and reminds me of a more populated 3300 South/West Valley in Salt Lake city. The problem is, at 6:30 a.m., when I’m catching the bus, the streets are occupied by a few commuters, such as myself, but everyone else seems to be either homeless, wandering around after being released from the shelter, or just nefarious looking.
Mace in hand, I approached the bus stop, where about six or seven people, all men, were already waiting for the bus. I took a deep breath and marched up to the biggest of the men, an old bar trick I learned—makes friends with the meanest one and you’ll be okay.
“Excuse me. Do you know when the 15 comes along?” I asked him. As I looked at him I realized he had a healthy glow about him, the whites of his eyes were very white, and his clothes were clean, with a crease ironed into the front of his jeans. He smiled and replied.
“Should be along any minute now,” he said.
“Oh good. Then I’m in the right place,” I smiled back at him and stepped back to what seemed to be the end of the line. I have issues with people who do not respect the lines for the bus or train. Many times, just as I’m about to step on the bus, someone comes running up and jumps on in front of me, totally disregarding any kind of organization.
As the bus pulled up to the stop the line formed, with the big guy I’d spoken to at the front of it. He looked at me and motioned with his hand for me to come to the front of the line and get on the bus. I shook my head no, that was okay. He motioned again, and suddenly all the men standing in line turned to look at me.
“Go ahead,” “Ladies first,” “I insist.” All of them insisted that I board the bus first, since I was a lady. Smiling, I thanked them all and marched to the front of the line. I think they were probably trying to check out my butt as I boarded first, but oh well.
My day in the office was uneventful. With few donations coming in, I swept out the carts, vacuumed the center and watched trash t.v. I looked up from Judge Judy and noticed an elderly gentleman, with a cane, working his way slowly through the parking lot. He was obviously blind, and my experience is that blind people walking through the center of parking lots are usually lost. This was actually the third time in my life that I’ve been confronted with a lost blind person, and I watched as he made his way to the front of my office, then began tapping along the bottom of the window with his cane, trying to find a door.
I walked outside and approached him.
“Excuse me sir, do you need some assistance?” I asked.
“Yes, thank you. Is this that building on Yale and Kearney?”
“Uh, no. This is Yale and Monaco.”
“Oh no. I’m a couple of streets off.”
“Where are you trying to get to? I’m not from around here, but there’s a bus stop right there if you need to get back on the bus.” I offered. I noticed a middle-aged woman at Subway next door had stopped as she was getting into her car, and she was watching us.
The old man tried to explain that he’d been to the building he was looking for years ago, when he wasn’t blind. He didn’t know the name of the building, but he knew there was a chiropractor’s office in it. By this time, the woman came over to see if she could help.
The old man was slightly embarassed, and kept apologizing. I would like to think that if I ever go blind I will have the guts to still wander about in public, but in reality, I can’t imagine anything more terrifying.
After a few minutes of talking, the woman offered help.
“I have my six-year-old son in the car, but if you would like I could drive you down to Kearney.” she offered.
I could see the old man thinking. I think he was trying hard to swallow his pride and accept the help. Finally he spoke.
“You’re not an ax murderer are you?” I could see the woman thinking the same thing about him, checking him out, wondering if he could do any damage.
“She doesn’t look like an ax murderer,” I offered.
That settled it. We helped the old man get into the strange woman’s car, and I watched as they drove off. Two strangers, brought together by a blind-man’s cane and my store window.

February 2, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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