While waiting for the bus I never pay enough attention to the cars that go by to recognize any. I’m at the same bus stop at the same time most days of the week so chances are good that some of the same people go by. I just don’t notice them and chances are good they don’t notice me either unless one of us is doing something unusual.
I was literally seconds late getting to the bus stop. I saw the doors close and the bus pull away. I started running. Remember the scene in The Graduate where Dustin Hoffman chases a bus until it gets to the next stop? That was me and that was my plan. There was a red light up ahead. If I could get there while the bus was waiting I could get on.
Then the light turned green.
I kept running. There was another green light up ahead. If it turned red before the bus went through I could catch up to it and get on then. I was a pretty good runner and it looked like I was going to make it.
It only turned red after the bus had gone through. I stood on the corner panting. Then I heard a voice to my left.
“You tryin’ to catch the bus?”
There was a guy in a compact car stopped at the light. He had his window down.
“Climb in. I’ll get you there.”
Now was the time to ask myself a serious question. Should I wait twenty minutes for the next bus or take a chance on a ride with a complete stranger?
I took a chance. His name was Mike and he’d seen me running. When he saw I wasn’t going to make it he felt bad for me. He explained all this as he deftly passed the bus and managed to get three blocks ahead of it. He pulled over at a bus stop.
“Have a good day!”
Thanks to Mike it was a good day. I thanked him profusely and only realized after he’d sped away that I hadn’t thought to notice what he was driving. Maybe I see Mike every day and don’t realize it. I wish I knew so I could wave at him as he went by.