Tabatha Deans

Bringing Integrity to the Written Word

Here in Denver they are very serious with their anti-std campaigns, and this was the sign posted on one of the many buses I have spent the past two days on. I must admit its quite catchy and rather bold, but having toured some of the seedier parts of the city, I can certainly appreciate the target audience of the campaign, and the bluntness of it definitely speaks to some of the characters I’ve run across.
I’ve been working on my first assignment for Denver’s Urban Spectrum, the magazine for people of color in the Denver area. I was given the task of seeking out Black and/or Hispanic officers and spotlighting their contributions to the community. I found three commanders in three separate districts, and got a great tour of the various “hoods” compliments of RTD public transit.
Dressed to impress in business slacks and button-down shirt, I sat at the bus stop in Stapleton, reading my book and hoping an errant ball from the golf course next to me wouldn’t find its way to my head. An older white Cadillac cruised by, music thumping through tinted windows that were halfway down. It slowed in the turning lane as it passed me, and a man stuck his head out the driver’s window.
“Heeeeayyyyy there pretty mama. Heeeayyy, heeyyyy,” Not the best pickup line I’ve ever heard. I smiled a little at his efforts, but then tried to ignore and raised my book a little higher. He stopped at the light and gave it his best shot.
“You wanna ride? Heeayyy, mama, you wanna ride?” I shook my head and went back to my reading, and he continued to make noises that I couldn’t, and really didn’t want to comprehend. I wondered if that technique ever worked for him. If any woman ever jumped up from the bus stop and rushed through traffic to take him up on his offer.
The 121 bus was absolutely the funnest bus I’ve ever been on. The driver was large and jovial, with her black hair pulled back tight and tied with a big red flower. She drove through all the puddles she could see and laughed out loud as she did so. One of the passengers, a young, pimply-faced man, was headed for a job interview. He was nervous and sweating, his poorly-pressed dockers beginning to wrinkle. Our driver slowed as we entered the business park, and several passengers pressed their faces up against the windows and began reading off business names in the park. They collectively decided he needed the next stop, and our driver literally whooped and hollered when someone read the name of the business he was looking form. She passed the designated stop and delivered the young man directly in front of the building, and everyone on the front of the bus wished him well.
“I’ll be back around every 45 minutes, you let me know how it goes.” The driver said.
As we drove along she used her invisible mojo to turn the lights green, waving her hands with brightly painted fingernails in the air at the road in front of her, and chanting some silly songs until we were rewarded with a green light. When it came time for me to ask directions, I received the same generous attention the young man had.
“We almost there honey. You goin’ lookin’ for cops? Weehooo. Good luck wit dat.” She looked me up and down and smiled. The crackhead with the wheeled basket chimed in.
“You look like a lawyer. You a lawyer?” She asked. The others waited anxiously for my reply.
“No. I’m a writer. I’m going to write a story about them.” There was a sign of relief and understanding from the peanut gallery.
“Oh, good. Good for you. You tell it like it is,” The driver said, as she stopped at the light and pointed me in the right direction.
“I’ll be back around ’bout every 45 minutes. You tell me how it goes.”
“Thank you,” I said.
“And sweetie, stay away from those puddles,” she winked at me.

July 19, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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