you go girl

23 July 2009

There’s a driver on the morning streetcar which I ride up Kingston road many mornings.  He slouches, scowling, against the side of the car and barely looks in your general direction when you board.  He looks as if he could care less whether you pay your fare or not.  People like that are always something of a challenge to me.  I’m usually pretty good at “killing ‘em with kindness” and breaking through even a little.  But this guy is a brick wall.  I mean, for goodness sake, I get on your streetcar all the time.  Do you not SEE me?  The LEAST you can do is acknowledge me.  I’m really NICE damnit!

And you know, I’ve heard Mr. Slouchy have conversations with other drivers or passengers he knows, and he sounds like a happy enough guy, a kind of a jokey “let’s have a beer” kind of guy.  I’ve actually had a bit of a sulk about that.  If he can chat amiably with other people, then what am I, chopped liver?

Alas, buddy’s got a hate on, or at the very least, something not nice to say to the general Toronto transit rider population.  Including me. 

This morning, a young girl, about eleven or twelve, gets on the car with her teenage brother.  She thanks Mr. Slouchy AND greets him as she boards, and her delivery is so bright and sweet and honest and direct I wonder how he could possibly scowl at her.  I also wonder how a young girl like her could have the gumption to be so determinedly nice to a nasty old fart like him.  As if that weren’t enough, she gives him same as she exits the streetcar, and LO!  I think I actually hear him say goodbye to her!

As I get off the car to embark on the next leg of my commute, I think that maybe my goal for the rest of the summer should be to elicit a greeting from Mr. Slouchy.

**********

Funny thing happens on my way home from work.  I get down to Kingston Road and the last leg of my trip, and get on the streetcar and find a slouching, scowling, sullen driver who must be working a double shift.  I hesitate for a second, and then silently move to a seat at the back of the car.  After all, it’s seven thirty and I’m tired and hungry.  I push open the window and close my eyes to the summer breeze touching my face and think about that little girl and am thankful she’s going to have a good life.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: