That man is getting on the bus because, even though she had just pulled away from the curb, that bus driver opened the door for him.
That's the kind of bus driver she is.
A few seconds of passing forward some good equaled a whole day of goodness for others. I know. I watched her the the entire way up from Fulton to 14th Street, saying hello to passengers, telling the man with the cane to take his time, answering the girl who was carrying on a simultaneous conversation on her phone about what stop was best to get to the hospital.
And the one that meant the most to me - tell the crossing guard at 3rd Street not to rush the elderly man caught as the light changed. "No, let him cross, let him cross," she called to the crossing guard and then she waited, because a light turning green or red was not as important as an elderly man who clearly couldn't walk faster than really slow but who needed to get to the other side of the street.
And because the bus driver told the crossing guard to let him cross, the crossing guard went out into the middle of the street and guided that old man safely to the corner.
That meant the most. All the times people helped Florence as she stumbled through a city she once ruled, suddenly beyond her disappearing capacities... bus drivers, train conductors, other passengers, passer-bys, Maria at the hospital who fed her. New Yorkers heart and soul.....
"God is good," the bus driver told me as I got off the bus.
MY PRIVATE CONEY presents IT WAS HER NEW YORK, the short stories that accompany the work-in-progress video and photo collection of the same name (myprivateconey.com - media link - IT WAS HER NEW YORK). The stories and the media explore the tender rubble that holds both my mother, Florence's and New York's soul as one disappears into old age and the other into gentrification. All are real observations and/or experiences with very little tall-tale telling.
Except when it makes the story better.
Please visit myprivateconey.com for additional information and sample works.