The Girl At The Bus Stop

The Girl At The Bus Stop

By: Bill the Butcher

Each day I take my three grandsons to school. Now, back in the day I walked to school. Oh, there was a bus but it was more fun to run the three miles down the railroad tracks which was a straight shot to the school. I could run the whole way. Three miles. On the tracks. What was in my mind?

One thing that led me to do that was the fact that I had friends, and it was fun to race down the tracks. More fun than we would have after we got to school. Not fun! When another kid said that they enjoyed school we’d look at them in disbelief. We could only surmise that their father got drunker than our father. If I ever needed a ride to school I never considered asking my dad for one. In fact my mind could not even comprehend such a thing. If I’d ever done that the only hope I would have is to outrun him down the tracks. If I couldn’t at least I’d have witnesses.

Well anyway, every day as I dropped the kids off I noticed a girl standing by the road, obviously waiting on the school bus. At first I took no notice. You know. Hey! Kid by the road. No big deal. But she was there every day. She never missed, and I noticed that she was always alone. So I began waving at her as we passed by.

At first she was perplexed. She’d give me a confused look and I’d continue down the road to my appointed rounds. But slowly she began to raise her hand in a simple acknowledgement of my wave. The interaction began to take on a ritual. I’d wave, she’d wave, and life was good.

One of my grand-kids asked why I waved every day at some girl I didn’t even know. I told him I wave because she’s alone. Nobody stands with her and from her hair and the look in her face I could tell that she was not cool with that. She had just become accustomed to it. No friends stood with her. No boys picking her up. Just standing there, rain or shine, waiting on the bus to come and take her to school. She at least deserved a “good morning” wave, even if it was from a stranger. Of course he didn’t understand me. Theories rose from the back seat ranging from aspersions on her character to jokes about Chris Hansen.

I began to read her moods. If her hair was down she was in a good mood. If it was up in a bun, not so good. I began to tailor my wave to coincide with each day’s hair signal from her. You must understand that a shaggy hair wave during a bun hair day would be an intrusion upon her privacy, such as it was!

In my school days life was simple. I grew up in Texas. Boys were boys, girls were girls, and the sheep were nervous. We listened to Johnny Cash and didn’t understand the Beatles. Walter Cronkite was the news and “That was the way it was” on whatever day he was reading it. He wouldn’t know what an opinion was if one ran up and bit him on the leg. The girl I waved at doesn’t live in that world. Girls are girls and boys are boys unless they’re not. The school bus will be there every day unless it’s a pandemic. You can’t run away from home because you’ll get trafficked, and if you have a personality some therapist will label you with ADD, OCD, PTSD, or any other of a host of Ds depending upon this year’s DSM. That’s her world.

And school is not school anymore. We used to have fire drills. Sometimes tornado drills. We never had an active shooter drill because all the boys had shotguns and rifles in their pickup trucks. And besides that, nobody ever thought about shooting up a school. Billy the Kid never shot up a school. And for all the Common Core theory we’ve lost Common Sense somewhere during Drag Queen Story-Time. So she stands alone waiting to be ferried off to that La La Land that we jokingly refer to as The Public School System to be taught about rainbows by some “teacher” who’ll give her an STD! And you wonder why “I don’t even care” is the mantra of the “Z” generation.

That is the world of the girl at the bus stop! She’s alone, but the tragic thing is that she probably doesn’t even know she’s alone. She lives in an alone world that doesn’t make any sense, and it never will. But an old Baby Boomer waves at her every morning. And all he wants out of her is a smile and hopes she has a shaggy hair day!


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