Every time I ride the number 27 bus, I swear it’s going to be the last time. The bus is consistently late. The bus has more people using the lifts to get on and off than any other bus I have ridden – even when it’s only for one stop! The caliber of people riding the bus is very questionable; yes, I am a bit of a snob. I am working on being less judgmental.
The bus was very crowded today. They all knew each other so there was a lot of talk about being thankful it was the first of the month because they got their check. They weren’t homeless, but they were people who were barely getting by. We got to a community center that has a food bank and the bus emptied.
It’s a very interesting subculture. One that I in some ways I come from. People on assisted living who are trying to get by. People who are constantly hustling. People who are probably dealing with addictions. I recognize this because some of the people I grew up with were like that. It was a lifestyle I was determined not to live, which is why I was driven to get out of Moses Lake, and the reason I don’t go back.
It did make me sad. I kept thinking it just takes one bad decision to end up on skid row. It takes one bad decision to get hooked on drugs or alcohol. It takes one bad decision to get pregnant or HIV.
It did get me thinking of the bad choices I had made. I wonder why one person smokes crack and gets hooked for life, while another tries it and is able to walk away. One person does a crime and gets caught, another does the crime and slips through the system.
I see a lot of women who are cracked or methed out while waiting for my bus. I look at them, and I wonder what dreams and ambitions they had when they were little girls. What did they want to be? Where did it go wrong?
I just try to be mindful and thankful for God’s grace and mercy in my life. There was more than one bad choice that could have sent me off in the wrong direction. Thanks to God, they didn’t!