I get the bus to work, usually the 8 in the morning and 6 home, unless some nice person offers to drive me, because you know I’m not the safest driver in the world.
I don’t really want to start writing about bus stories, because I could write a book, but a lovely conversation I had with a stranger on the bus today reminded me of one of the best ones.
One winter morning last year, an old man sat beside me on the bus. OJ was sleeping quietly under the seat, completely out of sight. The man asked me a few questions about where I lived and worked, and then started talking about the old days. He kept pointing to buildings as the bus drove, and telling me what they used to be and how he used to work there when that was such and such a place. He kept saying “and do you see that building there?” “do you see over there” and I just smiled and pretended to look in the direction I guessed he was pointing. I knew from talking to him that he would feel sorry for me and ask a million questions if he knew I was blind, so I thought it best to agree.
We were about five minutes from the bus stop when OJ started moving under the seat. The man stopped mid sentence and said “do you hear that? There’s something under there. OH my God what is it?”
He looked down at OJ’s black head and paws sticking out from under my legs.
“Jesus christ its a dog!”
Me: “yep its my guide dog”
Him: “Oh. Oh I didn’t know. I didn’t realise. I didn’t see it. I didn’t realise you were… you know…”
Its very difficult for some people to say the word “blind”, particularly the older they are. I got his sympathy vote for the rest of the journey.
Currently listening to: Mic Christopher – ‘a curious notion’. He would have celebrated his fortieth birthday today. I bet he’s having a great party with Elvis now.
If you haven’t heard of him, go legally download or buy a copy of ‘skylarkin’. Its in my top three favourite albums of all time. The music and the story behind it is beautiful.