Thursday, July 13, 2006
You Take the Hy-road...
Part of my normal routine these days is riding the bus to physical therapy twice a week. The freedom to do this was a big deal when I first started in May but now it's becoming old hat even though it has its challenges.
The one thing about it I'm only now getting used to is paying the disabled persons' fare. To do this you technically have to carry some kind of proof of registration. Well, I guess anybody who takes as long as I do to board a bus is walking proof of disability because no bus driver ever asked to see proof. No driver, that is, until yesterday.
I was getting on a bus to ride one stop to a transfer point when a driver asked to see my registration before he would give me a transfer slip. I had to take a seat to look through my bag but I had little hope of finding it since I never needed it and had lost track of it long ago. Soon the point was moot because we were already at my stop. What else could I do? I got off the bus having paid one full fare and headed toward the next where I would have to pay again. I was fuming. When I was sure to be in view of the driver, I found myself shuffling aggressively to assert my disabled-ness at him. And then I remembered I had no change for the next bus.
I managed to get change at a nearby gas station but I was still sputtering when a small stroke of luck came my way--- my bus arrived immediately (usually there's a long wait). The art student next to me at the bus stop suddenly got very excited. He kept saying something about "zero emissions" and "wow" and "cool" and "dude." I was still holding on to a stormy mood so I paid no attention.
As I reached the steps, the driver was watching me fumble with my change and saying, "No fair." Well, it sure summed up the situation but I had no idea why she was saying it until I realized she was actually saying, "No fare."
Justice struck like lightning out of the clear blue sky and as I sat down in the first seat on this comfortable, new hydrogen fuel cell bus I was suddenly so happy, I couldn't stop smiling.