"In this fucked up world all you can hope for is change, and I'd rather be a hypocrite to you now than a zombie forever."

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

An elderly man and a bus driver

It was a sad sight. Have you ever observed other people and wondered why people have to be so aggressive and inconsiderate to each other? It's fair to say that I'm not a saint and neither are you, but I do my best to treat everybody with the respect they deserve and cannot stand nastiness.
So I'm listening to iPod while staring out of the bus window and internally planning my future as I usually do, when I notice the bus has been still for quite some time. As I look to the front of the bus I see an elderly man, shopper-on-wheels in hand and oyster (bus) card in the other. He still has his senses but he's lost his articulation as the years have multiplied, and he can't exactly get to grips with how this swipe technology that we now use to board a bus works. Fair enough, the momentary noise it makes could easily be mistaken for a refusal. He stands there nervously, covering up his embarrassment with a smile while he mumbles polite apologies and bewilderment at what's happenning. I initally smile at the sweet amusement of the situation until I realise the bus isn't on his side. The bus driver (who constantly looks as if somebody has just given him an impromptu kick in the testicles) impatiently groans at him that it worked while the man endevours to figure out what is going wrong. The bus driver presses on in his unforgiving, demeaning tone as a few passengers urge him - albeit quietly - to 'come on' and 'hurry up'.
In the end mr bus driver snaps at him to "Just go and sit down!" as if he were shooeing an irksome dog back to his kennel. Who knows what this man has been through, how much longer he's been walking the planet for or what stories he has to tell? Who cares? As long as the bus gets moving RIGHT THIS INSTANT everything is fine... until you realise that you too, will someday need help getting on and off even the simplest forms of public transport. All of your everyday ability - such as showering unaided and walking to the shops without a hitch - will disappear. I could've pleaded with the bus : Show some compassion, will you? I felt like jumping off at his stop and asking him to tell me about his life. Anything he wanted to share and everything that made him proud. For one, I'm genuinely interested and two, I could see the look of humiliation on his face. And I hate it. I hate it when anyone, good or bad, feels demoralised like that but he especially didn't deserve it. Not in that situation. I'm glad I told the computer screen, I have to put the world to rights somehow.

No comments:

Post a Comment