September 28th, 2009 – by Emily Benner
Monday morning. I look at my phone: 8:07. I stand on the curb, waiting, looking anxiously down the road. Sigh. I look at my phone again: 8:13. I send another glance back down the road. Still nothing. Five minutes later I hear its brakes and sure enough the trusty H8 bus is making its way towards me.
As the door swings open I make my up the steps and scan my card, flashing the bus driver a smile and returning his friendly “good morning.” I make my way down the aisle as the bus takes off and I take a seat next to a young woman with headphones on.
In a matter of minutes the bus pulls over at Second Street to pick up three African American girls on their way to school. They giggle and whisper among themselves as they scramble onto the bus, sometimes catching the eyes of some young men seated in the back.
A few minutes later, the bus stops for a young Latin American father with his five year old daughter. She shyly holds his hand as they make their way onto the bus. He bends down to adjust her pink book bag and little braided pigtails. The father waves and smiles as he sees some familiar faces. He finds a seat and begins a conversation in Spanish.
The bus begins to fill up. An older African American lady climbs aboard, adorned with her brightly colored jewelry and scrubs. A young Latin American mother climbs on with her two year old son who gurgles and smiles as they take a seat. A middle aged African American man makes his way aboard, headphones in ears and briefcase in hand.
These are the regulars on the H8 bus. Rain or shine, warm or cold, they are all here, each with their own story. As I see and smile at all the familiar faces I can’t help but wonder what’s really behind those eyes. What families do these people go home to? What jobs do they have? What are their fears, hopes, and dreams? Perhaps I will never know, or perhaps I may one day find the answers as we ride on the H8 bus.