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Halifax bus drivers….

April 5, 2014

This is to the young Black bus driver man who nearly missed entirely the fact that I was in the middle of the crosswalk this morning on Spring Garden.

The fright in your eyes, in that 1/2 second of silence when I looked at you – and in that moment after you slammed to a stop – and I saw you say a quick prayer to yourself, and cross yourself, and admonish yourself for your moment of inattention – that said more than I could have ever yelled at you.

Try not to be too too hard on yourself. You look like a good man. You were genuinely upset with yourself. I also drive. Shit happens. Even to good people.

As a pedestrian, I have a role to play in all of this as well. I saw you long before you ever saw me.

That’s why I wasn’t standing in front of you.

That’s why you missed me.

———-    ———-

This is for the 6am bus driver – the earliest bus of the day way out on St. Margaret’s Bay Road. The first and only bus my 22-year-old intern co-worker can take that will get her to work on time.

Thank you for reminding her last Monday when she proudly showed you her new (and first) April metropass, that it was, in fact March 31, and not April 1st.

You were probably nice to her because you had seen her here, at this first bus stop on your morning route, every morning for the last three weeks. Ever since her parents drove her here to do her college internship. Did you know that she came here to do her internship from her little tiny town, and tiny little college in PEI, and that she is absolutely already madly in love with Halifax and can’t ever imagine going back to her small little town?

And I think we can all agree that you did the right thing by asking her for the required $2.50 bus fare, as it was, in fact, still March. After all, her $70 metropass didn’t start until tomorrow.

You were probably glad that she willing said “no problem – it was my fault” and proceeded to root around in her purse for change. The last thing you want or need at that time of day is a major hassle with one of your passengers. You probably already get enough of that from your co-workers.

And from home.

And, well, what could you do? Some people may argue with me on this but when it became apparent at the next stop – the second stop of your morning route, way out on the west edge of Spryfield, along that tree-lined two-lane highway at 6 in the morning – when you realized that she only had $1.95 in change, which, with all sincerity (she showed you the insides of her purse) she offers you as all the fortune in change she had in her purse – besides her seventy dollar April metropass which she still clutches in her left hand – what could you do? She had to get off your bus.

And so, after everyone got on the bus, and she tells you that she will have to walk all the way back to her uncle’s house to get you the required 55 cents, and that was like two kilometres away, and that she would be really late for work, and, even though you can the nightmare in her eyes of failing her internship and therefore not passing her class – even though she was literally close to tears in front of you, you left your bus door open and told her she had to get off of your bus. Because, as you correctly reminded her, she only had $1.95 and not the required $2.50.

Hey, the rules are the rules! You did absolutely the right thing.

What else could you have done?



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