Tabatha Deans

Bringing Integrity to the Written Word

I was making my way home from work last night, which involved standing on Colfax in the cold, waiting for either the 15 or the 15L bus to come along. Colfax is the “street of diversity” and I usually shy away from there after dark, but Saturdays are busy with concerts and activities, so there are a lot of people milling about and its not quite as scary.
Looking very much like a turtle with my backpack on, which is nearly as big as my entire torso when its full, and carrying a heavy shopping bag, I smiled at the bus driver as I boarded the bus. He was not friendly, and didn’t return my smile, but began yelling to “move to the back of the bus.” Well the bus was pretty much full, so I stood at the front staring into a sea of unmoving, scruffy, somewhat angry looking passengers. I tried to turn any direction that might make me seem smaller. I was trapped next to the bus driver, and every time I turned my backpack tapped him.
“Move to the back of the bus,” he kept shouting. Slowly, passengers adjusted themselves so we could work our way back. About halfway back, a young man, ballcap on sideways and with baggy pants, jumped up and motioned for me to take his seat. I squeezed in between a sleeping drunk and an old Hispanic man.
I could feel an angry tension on the bus, passengers were mumbling and complaining, and one man, white, dressed in a wool overcoat and suit, with a wireless contraption stuck in his ear, boarded the bus. He proceeded down the aisle, obviously upset because the bus was running late. He was loudly dropping the F bomb and complaining about how incompetent the driver/RTD was. His actions riled up a man in the front of the bus, who was perhaps crazy and talking to no one in particular, but he stood up and started chanting swear words about the driver.
Another passenger yelled at both of them to shut up. The white man smiled as if to say “make me,” and the crazy guy tried to push his way through the standing passengers to get to the other guy, who was sitting not far from me. The L stands for limited, so, unlike the 15, which stops whenever you pull the cord, the L is an express bus so it only stops at designated stops. As the mob grew angrier, I knew I could not escape until for at least another 5 minutes when the bus stopped again.
I inched my way to the back door, my backpack and bag bumping people’s legs and shoulders as I moved through the crowd. The yelling got worse, and I was pretty sure there was going to be a physical fight. I willed the driver to hurry and get to the next stop, as I watched the crazy guy get closer to his target. Finally, just as the two men worked their way within a few passengers of each other, the bus stopped, the doors opened and I jumped off, still about a mile from where I really needed to get off.
I’m assuming the two men finally reached each other and started fighting, because the bus stopped again just a half block away, and as I walked past it I saw other people jumping off, and heard yelling from within the bus.
At least the young man offered up his seat to me…the “not young” lady…

March 11, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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