Today, at the Convention Place station in town, a very full bus pulled up to the curb, driven by an old lady. Usually, when the 41 bus pulls up and is full, the driver opens the door, motions for those of us who are standing outside to wait while he or she addresses the passengers via the PA system.
“In order to make room for others,” she’d say, “move to the back, turn to face the front, slide off your backpacks and put them between your legs on the floor.”
That’s the usual.
Today was different. The driver opened the door and addressed the bus.
“Cozy up folks,” she said in a husky, smoker’s voice. “C’mon, get real cozy.”
People started shuffling closer together in the aisles, moving to the back.
“It’s cold,” she continued. “There’s no harm in getting close. Fight the winter, folks, like the poor sons of bitches outside are doing while we’re taking our time!”
People moved a little more, but it didn’t seem to achieve much. The driver opened the back door.
“Just get in where you can,” she announced. “Never mind about the fare.”