Muni Moments

Picture 4

Ever since I started riding the Express Bus to work in the morning, I’ve become familiar with the different drivers who arrive at my bus stop at different times – 8:15, 8:30, 8:45. The express route is the esteemed route for all of the seasoned drivers, so most of them have paid their dues through years of service. There’s the sweet, skinny Asian man who always packs in the bus to the gills and lets you stand with your face practically smashed up against the windshield.  If you can fit your body on this bus, you’ll be dropped off at your stop with a smile and a “Have a nice day” as you walk down the steps. And there’s the grandfatherly, plump, older Hispanic man who always says “Good morning” when I walk onboard.

But then there’s the gruff, burly bus driver.

This guy has rules – no crowding, don’t stand in the doorway, don’t cross over the yellow line, move to the back of the bus – and he’s not quiet about it. He’ll bark at you if you’re late, and he definitely won’t stop or wait for you if he sees you running to the bus stop.

Yet for the past year, I’ve just decided to give him a smile when I board, and sometimes he smiles back. I also obey his rules.

The week after I got engaged, I was bursting at the seems to tell everyone I knew, including the burly bus driver. So one morning, right when I boarded, I smiled and told him with enthusiasm, “I GOT ENGAGED!” He was taken aback and said, “What?” I repeated what I said, and he beamed, saying, “Well.. congratulations!”

When I got off the bus, I apologized to him for being so excited about my news. He responded by saying, “Beautiful things happen to beautiful people.”

So, the next morning, as I’m walking to the bus stop I see that my bus has already arrived and I was still a block away. Guess whose bus it was? The burly bus driver’s. Remember, this is the guy with the rules. The guy who barks at you, shakes his head, and will not put up with any tardiness. When I got to the corner, I noticed that he was pulling over. Suddenly, he opened the doors and said, “Come on in sweetheart!” I couldn’t believe it. We chatted it up the entire ride downtown, and I learned so much about him. He’s been a bus driver for 30 years, been married for 45, has a grandson, and is about to retire so he can help take care of his wife who has health issues. I asked him for marriage advice. He just chuckled, and then said, “Well.. just love each other. Communicate. Be best friends.”

Now we know each other’s names, and it’s the highlight of my morning to to ride downtown with Charles. I’m actually making him some banana muffins right now. It’s my mission that he retires with a smile.

12 thoughts on “Muni Moments

  1. Nini,
    I loved reading your story this morning…..I had a rough afternoon yesteray and it made me smile. It’s true that God’s love is contagious. I know that you will always let your light shine. How are the wedding plans going?

    Love, Priscilla

  2. I LOVED this story. You should send it in to a magazine for an encouragement to treat others with love no matter what. Way to go Marlene! 🙂

  3. What a great story! I loved it! You’ve become the sunshine of his day! Amazing what a little kindness with a smile will do. Another life you have touched and changed for the better! You’re a love, dear Marleenie!

  4. That is just so cool and sweet. I loved this story, it brought tears to my eyes. I’m thinking this is a theme with you lately.
    Love ya.

  5. oh my, this made me tear up. what a beautiful picture of how we are supposed to live. why do i feel like i’m the burly bus driver more than i’m the adorable newly engaged girl? 🙂 love you!

  6. Marlene…you made me cry…thanks for blogging about your life…way to love those you come in contact with …even the burly bus driver!

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