Thursday, May 12, 2005

Bus stop

I used to live by Colfax and Elm. That was where my bus stop was anyway. Colfax tends to be pretty interesting, especially at 1:00 in the afternoon (or morning for that matter) when most people are at work (or sleeping in the case of the morning). And East Colfax is by no means an exception to that rule--in fact, I think that rule was made up specifically for East Colfax.

Picture this, 1:00 on a winter afternoon, and I'm at my bus stop facing Colfax, behind which is a Rite Aid with a huge parking lot and a drive up prescription kiosk (much like the drive up tellers at a bank). Hookers to the left of me, druggies to the right, there I am... uh, waiting to go to work. I'm in my black wool trench coat, being that it's winter and all, and wearing "business casual" attire... looking all dapper and stuff. I look to my left to keep an eye out for my bus, my headphones drowning out the sounds, my cigarette keeping me company and my demeanor conveying happy isolation from whatever's going on around me; but I'm also smart enough to keep aware of my surroundings and I keep an eye on the wheelings and dealings of this microcosmic freak show.

Two girls are walking towards me, kind of homely and fully clothed, decked out in thick coats to beat the weather. They don't seem like anything special. One is wearing a lot of silver eye makeup, which I find odd, while the other seems to be sporting the natural look. But I'm not one to judge women's makeup choices... they're young and can grow out of their bad habits; besides, what business is it of mine. Anyway, for simplicity's sake, they will be called Silver and Natural from here on out.

So Silver and Natural walk by me with a slight smile and sit behind me at the bus stop bench. I finish my cigarette and stamp it out. I pace, because that's what I do when I'm waiting for my bus. Then I notice a crappy little car zoom into a parking spot directly behind the bus stop. O.k. The bus is coming (holy crap it's about time!), and I see Silver move to the car out of the corner of my eye. She bends at the waist and puts her head to the window, a la GTA or Cops or any number of cliche hooker scenes or what have you, and begins talking to the driver.

The bus pulls up as Natural sits nonchalantly on the bench, and Silver continues having a word with crappy car guy. I get on the bus and show the bus driver my pass... he's looking over my shoulder and just slowly shakes his head with a slightly disgusted but somewhat amused smile on his lips. I take my seat and the curiosity takes over: I look at the bus stop as we pull away and see that Natural is casually (act natural, nothing to see here!) walking away from the bench, while the car and Silver are nowhere to be seen. I must have laughed out loud despite my efforts to take it in stride, but I'm pretty sure the bus driver would silently concur if he heard me...

Anyway, I finally figured out why this Rite Aid has a drive-thru prescription kiosk. It's all about the convenience of one stop shopping. You can get a hooker and your penicillin without ever having to leave your car... what a country! God I miss the Colfax bus (sigh).