Friday July 3rd was observed as a holiday by many since July 4th landed on a Saturday this year. It was not observed by my workplace, but it was a holiday in Metro's eyes. Friday bus routes would be following a Sunday schedule. As my normal route is a weekday-only route, a Sunday route meant no route at all.
The alternative wasn't too far out of the way, but it unfortunately wasn't an express so we were stopping every other block. As there were plenty of working stiffs that didn't get the day off, it was standing room only.
It was interesting how different the riders were on this route. On my normal route, folks generally have their noses in a book, or are tuned in/out with iPods. Friday's route was a social gathering. People were talking about idle nothings and daily complaints. On the ride home, I gave up my seat for an older woman. She later tapped me on the arm and was excited to show me a picture of her and her son from 30 years ago.
Last week, we had a rider on my normal route that couldn't take the silence. She came on the bus saying she didn't have bus fare because her purse had just been stolen. She didn't seem too upset about it, like she didn't even believe her story. The bus driver let her on and she took one of the sideways facing seats at the front.
She tried in vain to sustain any idle chatter with the other riders. She then asked the why we were all so quiet. I mumbled something for the crowd that it was pretty early and we weren't all that awake. Then she asked "why did you all agree to be slaves"? Here we go...
She spent the rest of the trip spouting non sequiters, her train of thought lurching from subject to subject. When we were approaching the bus tunnel, and the merciful end of the trip, she asked "who wants to sing a song"? Having seen Planes, Trains and Automobiles a few times, I was expecting to hear a rousing rendition of the Flintstones theme. She decided on a solo performance of Joy to the World instead.
There was a story in the news about a missing person who had disappeared from a Washington State Ferry. At first it was feared that she had fallen overboard, but in speaking with family it was more likely that she walked away from her car. She apparently has bi-polar disorder and was likely off her meds. Her mother said she was harmless and was probably walking around Seattle somewhere.
Looking up the photo online, it turns out it was the same woman, Amy Story, who serenaded us on the bus. Fortunately she was found safe in Lake Forest Park a couple days later, claiming someone had stolen her car.