On Saturday mornings, I volunteer at one of the Denver Public Libraries. It’s tucked into one of the transitional (read: half ghetto, half white people trying to gentrify the place)neighborhoods. The bus I take there and back only runs once an hour on Saturdays, so I always make sure to be at the bus stop on time. However, the bus never seems to have the same respect I have for schedules and is always late.
This Saturday, the bus was 10 minutes late. If this took me right to my apartment, it wouldn’t be as big of a deal, but I have to catch another bus to get back to my place, so when one bus is late, I get a little antsy about catching the other bus.
So, the late bus pulls up next to my connecting bus stop at a red light. I was 20 feet from the stop, but since this bus’s stop is on the other side of the street, I have to sit through the longest light ever programmed.
The light finally turned green and the bus lurched forward the 30 feet it needed to move to cross Colorado Blvd and as I’m getting off the bus, I see my connecting bus rolling towards my stop and it’s apparent I’m not going to make it across the street in time.
In a desperate attempt to get the bus to wait, I started flailing my arms wildly as I ran towards the bus. Unfortunately, this normally deserted section of the road suddenly had an influx of cars and I had to wait until about 27 cars drove past. But the bus stayed put, so I thought the driver had seen me.
The entire time I was trying to cross the street, I was still waving wildly like someone trying to swat a swarm of invisible flies.
Finally, there was a break in the cars and I started crossing. Right as the bus started pulling away. I made it to the median before it was gone. I then stood on the median for about 10 seconds cussing up a storm. There wouldn’t be another bus for around 30 minutes, so I just decide to start walking.
Then I hear a car honk. The first couple times, I ignore it. Colorado Blvd. is a busy street and I figured it was directed at someone else.
Then the honking car pulls up next to me and the passenger side window rolls down.
I look in to the car and see a woman in her 50’s leaning across the seat.
“Do you want to catch that bus?” she yelled.
I was completely thrown off. I thought she was going to tell me my underwear were showing or something, so I said, “What?”
She repeated herself, “Do you want to catch that bus?”
I looked at her, nodded vigorously and said, “YES!”
“Jump in!” she said.
And jump in I did, without a moment’s hesitation.
Thinking back on it, it sounds sort of crazy that I discarded years and years of “stranger danger” ads warning against getting in the car with a stranger, all so I could catch up with a bus 20 feet ahead of me. But, I’m still here, alive and unraped, so it’s all good.
As I got into this woman’s car, she began explaining that she used to take the bus and would get so frustrated when she missed it by mere feet. We shared some casual, polite conversation as we caught up to the bus and when we were coming up on the bus, I expected her to drive one more stop up so she had time to pull over properly.
Nope. This woman cut off the bus on a crowded street.
This woman wedged her Camry in between the open road and several tons of metal. As I exited the car hurriedly and shouted thank you as many times as I could while running, the bus’s horn was blaring, and the driver looked pretty pissed as I got on the bus, flashing him my bus pass.
And that was it.
On Saturday, I was the recipient of a wonderful act of kindness from a stranger.
I know it sounds really cliché and corny, but I feel the need to pass this sort of kindness on, so I will somehow.
And this post ends as abruptly as my interaction with the good Samaritan did.