A few years back, you were on the bus with me heading to the airport so I could pick up my boyfriend at the time from his mission trip to Arkansas.
I remember you by the sound of your voice, the numerous F bombs being flung around over the stupidest little things. Trash on the floor, someone who accidently tripped over your large Coach bag that we all know is fake, and the numerous other dumb complaints made on the public bus route daily. Minor things I would never cause a fight over, although my inner mind wants to go on the attack mode.
The day I met you, a nice homeless man with vet badges on his tattered jacket came on in his walker in route to his doctor’s appointment. He had a smell of urine on him, clearly from his half open backpack, he wore a Depends.
The smell never bothered me too much. After taking care of special needs people for a living, I learned to deal with it. And a lot of passengers tolerated his presence despite his minor smell.
“Jesus Christ, who F***ing stinks? Driver, get this asshole off MY bus!”
And that’s all I heard from you for the 45 minute journey. I took the time to befriend the man and apologized for your behavior. He was very happy someone took the time to talk to him, and we made the most of it while talking about his journeys as a homeless man and his time in the Vietnam War.
I remember you gave me a glare as the driver kicked you off the bus, studying me and my special bus pass for the legally blind dangling from my backpack, trying to figure out why I didn’t have a dog, sunglasses, or a cane on me.
I never forgot that stare.
About 2 years later, today to be exact, you got on my bus and started on the attack again. You chased a couple for not picking up their trash off the bus at Downtown Disney and made a big show and tell to the other passengers, many of them telling you to shut up and sit down.
“But it’s my bus!”
I turned to you afterwards and told you to “Give it a rest!” Upon which your reply under your breath was “You’re not fully blind. What the f*** do you even have that bus pass for?”
And as you went on to tattle on me, the driver let you off your stop.
And of course, I saw your eyes piercing back at me with the upmost disgust.
I laughed your attitude off, while you make others around you scared. I shook my head with a grin as you studied me. Like dirt, I brushed you off and went back to goofing around Facebook.
Looks can be deceiving, my friend.
I may be playing on my phone with my headphones in, trying to make a nightmarishly long 3 hour commute home from work as painless as possible; But what you don’t know is the pain I get in fluorescent lighting, the fact I’ll never be able to drive, the small print I deal with as part of my job, me making arrangements to alter my schedule so I am not left in the dark alone at night, the sun glare, the stares I get from others on the daily.
You might haven’t noticed that I heard you. Or the fact I remember you from long ago. That’s the funny thing about the legally blind. Our senses are a bit amplified.
Your issues are deep, and I get that. The commute is crappy, totally understood, but your attitude, unlike the kind man who served our country you horribly bashed, stinks
I can only hope that you find this letter and take time to notice how your attitude effects others. I pray you have empathy for others and realize that we all have problems in this world, but the last thing we need to have problems with is with each other. I hope one day you come find me and befriend me instead of making assumptions on something you don’t know about.
After all, this isn’t YOUR bus.
It’s ours. The beautiful city of Orlando.
Warm regards and safe travels,