The other day, after leaving the gym, I as usual got on TheBus to Waikiki. But my trip was hardly routine. The female bus driver warmly welcomed oncoming and departing passengers with a flurry of alohas (hello and goodbye respectively) and mahalos (thank you).
At stop lights, she amiably chatted with a few of the passengers seated and standing close by. Even though I was too far away to hear what was said, everyone involved was pleasantly animated.
As she began to accelerate a bit mid-way on the trip, she looked back at all of us and proclaimed playfully “Gang, hang in there.”
What a delight she was.
The next day while I was not-too-patiently waiting at the curb for Bus13, three cop cars swopped down right in front of me. The officers immediately arrested, handcuffed, and interrogated a non-violent man escorted by a police woman who had brought him from a nearby storefront. This encounter completely blocked the bus stop.
When Bus 13 finally approached, it bypassed the cop cars, stopped, started again, stopped once more, and then thankfully halted further down at the end of the street. I and my fellow prospective passengers just as fitfully pursued the erratic bus.
When I got on, I noticed that the bus driver was the same one who had been so gracious the other day—but not now. She painfully grimaced, she silently watched us board, and said nothing during our ride—no carousing during stops, no quips, no good cheer. It got worse. After a few minutes, she said, in a strained voice, that we had to clear out and take another Bus 13 that was parked behind us; she was going elsewhere. Was her joyfullness the other day just a façade, or was being morose her default disposition? Go figure!
I returned to my condo soon enough, but I was distressed. Something severely downbeat must have happened to the once-charming, good-natured bus driver. The next time that I encounter her, I’d like to see her better, not her embittered, self.