Mere Intention

be vulnerable

Month: March, 2013

Sonny the Felon

Is the bus coming here?

Yes, in about 7 minutes.

Great, thanks. Can I share the bench with you?

Of course! There’s plenty of room.

It sure a cool breeze coming through here.

Yeah, it’s like winter finally decided to show up…sort of.

I’m from Baltimore, this is better than winter there.

I moved here from Minneapolis; this isn’t winter. There’s never winter here, in  my opinion.

Haha! That’s true! I’ve been here for a bit visiting. I got caught up in some stuff and I’m on parole…instead of doing jail time.

So you’re just riding it out and laying low?

Yeah. My name’s Sonny, what’s yours?

(we shake hands and smile)

Heather. Nice to meet you Sonny. I used to live on the east coast outside of DC, in Northern Virginia.

I grew up about 30 miles north of Baltimore. My daughter is out there. I just talked to her today. She just got her phlebotomy certificate and got a job at the VA hospital. I’m so proud of her. She’s only 19 and she’s got a great job and loves it and will even have benefits!

That’s fantastic! Good for her.

Yeah, I’ve been gone for about nine years. Her mom and I are still close. I hear about all the good things and when there’s something bad, I’m the first to know, too. I was in prison, but they have always stayed in contact with me.

That’s great that you’ve stayed in contact.

Yeah, I was in prison for bank robbery – not anything sexual or nothin’.

Okay, no need to clarify.

Thanks.

How do I say this…I’m pro-doing-the-time-and-moving-along-in-life. I think it’s important for you to have that opportunity.

Wow! Thank you for that!

Sure.

(we get on the bus together and sit across the isle from one another)

So, what’s for dinner?

Not sure. I forgot to think about it today? What about you?

Well, I’m trying to decide. You know, I like Taco Bell sometimes, but man there’s nothing like tacos from one of those food trucks!

Oh yeah, I agree. Nothing like fresh tacos! Though I have to be careful with Taco Bell and consider what I plan to be doing tomorrow!

Haha! That’s true! Yeah, I live at a hotel right now so it limits my options for food.

That would be tricky.

I’m going to catch the 6 bus. Do you know where that crosses?

No, I’m sorry, I only know the 1 route.

Okay. Well,  Heather, it was a real pleasure meeting you today and talking for a while. You’re a beautiful, honest person. Thank you for that.

Sonny, it was great to meet you. I hope you have a great rest of the day!

(we smile and shake hands as he gets off the bus)

Bye, Heather!

Bye, Sonny!

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Public Transportation

The progression of people and conversations that took place on the afternoon bus rides this week was amazing and fascinating and enjoyable.

Early in the week both sides of the commute were pretty quiet. Wednesday all of the punk post-high school probable-regular-weed-smokers convened along the first mile of the ride and then had a mass exodus at Dairy Queen.

Thursday I watched a large sized woman with a shaved head choose to squeeze herself into a small space next to a hipster and his skateboard. She asked him if she could sit next to him and then just made it work – he had no where to go. Then the older dude in his fifties who used to use a lot of drugs or alcohol, wearing his grim Reaper t-shirt and flames beanie, carrying a plain purple plastic bag with no store markings (but seems to have had magazines in it) takes up conversation with an old woman who got on the bus with her cart/walker full of groceries and had every single finger covered with HUGE rings of colored stones. Apparently they knew one another many years ago and proceeded to argue about whether her daughter was or was not married to her baby’s daddy way back when.

Then today. A nineteen year old girl and a thirty five year old felon talking about how cushy the Colorado prison system is. He’s spent time “inside”, she’s on probation for something I couldn’t figure out, and they start comparing different facilities around the state by what they’ve heard or experienced. Her oldest of her seven older brothers is spending life in prison in Oregon somewhere but they’ve moved him so  many times she doesn’t know where he is. When she got of the bus to make her appointment at the half way house the felon and the guy behind him started talking about how fuckable they thought she was and wasn’t…and why.

This is my community. These are my people. We are equals. I am thankful for them.

Saturday morning my son and I are going on a breakfast date in Old Town. We’re riding the bus. I want him to meet a part of our community he doesn’t even know exists. I’m also taking him to the to get his own bus pass.

Here we go…

Today was the official first day of work.

Up at 555, out the door at 643, at the bus stop half a minute too late for the intended bus. It was still dark. It was nice and cool outside and I had fresh coffee in my travel mug. I sat on the bench waiting for the next bus at 711. Bus comes, the bus pass that I purchased last week was expired. The driver was kind and told me how to get it taken care of. Quiet, early morning ride. Woman at main transit station renews my pass for a full month from today instead of just through the end of March. Walked to the office.

There is a space set up for me…just not the space I’m supposed to have. I decide to continue rolling with the morning. I sat at the space that was kindly set up for me at 400 on Friday afternoon. I tracked down and learned to use video phones…one is supposed to be at my desk, which should be in a small room with a door.

You see, I’ll be spending the next nine months in training. From a distance. My entire team sits in the eastern time zone and I need to be able to video chat and talk to them extensively during the business day.

I’m looking forward to getting settled into a permanent space in the next week or so. I’ve been anticipating this transition for several weeks now. I’m just ready for it to happen. And it is…I just have to continue to choose the posture of patience and grace.