Before Perú Bus Life

Wilbur

March 22, 2015

Tune in as Sam tells multiple stories from life on the bus.

(Audience applaud)

Story #1: When people cuss on the bus.

The bus driver was talking today about how rude people appear to be when they cuss at things regarding public transportation (the driver, the fare, their next stop, their seat, etc.) He went on about how he tries to ignore these people for his own peace of mind. He mentioned some different instances, like when a commuter is exiting the bus and curses under their breath at the bus driver. The driver has had to ask people to quickly exit the bus due to episodes of vulgar outbreak. The driver and two older gentlemen in the front seat went on about how stupid people sound when every other word that comes out of their mouth is f*** this and f*** that. Then Wilbur – one of the older men in the trio – made the comment, “Sometimes I wonder what they would say if they replaced those words with other words.” Another older man commented,” None, because their vocabulary is too small.” The three started laughing because, well, it was funny.

Story #2:

The two older gentlemen continued their conversation. Let’s set the stage here. One man, we’ll call him Ron was likely in his mid-fifties. He had gray hair with a shiny bald spot on the top. I got the impression he was active for his age. He seemed very up-to-date on conversation topics and open for discussion. The other man, Wilbur, was quite a bit older – eighty six to be exact. He wore a hat to cover up the small amount of hair he seemed to have. Wilbur didn’t appear very active but certainly active enough to catch the 7:51a bus route. So, we won’t say the man was inactive; we’ll say he had a rickety disposition about him. It was apparent his body had been through hell and back (or, he’d just lived hard every day of his life for eighty six years). Though older, he didn’t appear to be the old and crotchety hey-kids-get-off-my-lawn type of old man. Wilbur was more sentimental and appreciated his interactions with people.

Ron looked in Wilbur’s direction and began, “When my father turned eighty I asked him this question, and I wonder what your response would be.”

Wilbur looked his way with curiosity.

“What were some of the biggest things that happened that changed your life in eighty-six years?”

Wilbur replied without hesitation, “My father murdered the man I was named after. I struggled with all of the hate there is in the world for a long time… One day I looked up at the sky and had an epiphany – that each person has love in them. Shortly after, I began treating people as carriers of love, not hate.”
Wilbur is my kind of guy. He speaks the truth. He doesn’t hold back the details because he doesn’t know you that well. The reality is that life is life is life. We only live it once. We only have our encounters with random people once. Why not try to be a little honest with yourself and with the people around you when they ask, “Hi, how are you today?”  I’m guessing that any answer besides “I’m well, thanks” will throw most people for a whirl. So when Wilbur started talking about the reality of people, and more importantly, the potential in them I couldn’t help but feel appreciation for someone like that.
 Apparently it wasn’t the type of answer Ron was looking for because instead of replying with insight, he simply said, “I guess I was meaning things that shaped your life, like inventions and discoveries.” (See, most people just can’t handle honesty like that. They freak out a little and think you’re weird.)

“Ahh, well in that case I would have the say the biggest thing that impacted me was when they landed on the moon in ’69. For the entire duration of the human race we were staring at the moon with a sense of longing, and then one day we were up there.”

I kept listening to Wilbur, and I felt fortunate to have chosen the seat I chose on the bus that day.

 Older men are funny. The two of them went on about discoveries and inventions. They both seemed to think television had been one of the most impressive inventions. At eighty-six, the man was also talking to Ron about his “type”: “A woman can look like a beauty queen but can be filled with hatred and unkindness. That’s not my kind of woman.”
 This is life on public transportation.

 

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1 Comment

  • Reply Bear March 24, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    Speaking of older men being funny. After I got my second flat biking to work this morning I stopped at a bus stop and saw an older gent that normally rides the bus the same time as me. He saw me walk up with my bike, wearing bike shorts, and carrying my bike shoes. If you’ve ever worn bike shoes you know that walking in them is pretty much impossible. So I walked to the bus stop in just my socks. By the time I got there the holes in my socks were twice as large. After we boarded the bus this older gent came up to me with a pair of white tube socks and said he’d like to give them to me. He felt so bad that I had to go the rest of the day in dirty, holey socks, that he gave me the pair he was going to use at the gym today. After the normal pleasantries of refusing then graciously accepting, I looked at the socks and thought, “I hope he doesn’t have a fungus…” But here I am at work now, enjoying clean, hole-less socks. People can be really great sometimes. I won’t talk about the car that decided it was more important to nearly hit me in order to make the light. Ha!

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