Get Off the Bus

th-1I made the 146 bus after a quick run and put my Ventra card on the reader. It did not beep so I tried it several times. The driver said that I had an 85 cents negative balance. I apologized and said that I only had a ten and a twenty. She said I needed to get off the bus. I started to leave and this guy shouted, “Don’t, you do not have to get off the bus. I am calling the CTA.” “She can’t throw an elderly person off the bus due to lack of funds.” People were staring at us and I decided to get off. I ran across the street to my garage and took some quarters out of my car. I ran back to the bus stop as the other 146 bus had arrived. I put the quarters in the money holder. I looked up and saw the people from the first bus getting on. The bus driver said, “What’s happening?” “Thth-3e bus behind me is empty.”

The same guy that was yelling on the other bus said, “I’ll tell you what happened, the other bus driver threw this elderly woman off the bus and that is against the law, so I called the CTA. And there she is!” He was pointing right at me. I cringed again and tried to pretend I was reading. The same guy called a friend and said the whole story again so loud I could hardly stand it. He ended the phone call with,“And I told the CTA I want this bus driver relieved of her duties. She did not have her badge on either!” I panicked. Someone was getting fired due to me? The woman was probably a single mom with four kids. When we arrived at my stop on Michigan Avenue, I jumped off and ran into the Fourth Presbyterian Church sanctuary. I said a prayer for this woman and asked God not to let her get fired.

As I went up the stairs of the church, I could feel my blood pressure was up and I felt like I was flying. On the second floor I walked into Buchanan Chapel and tried to calm myself. I couldn’t decide if I should call the CTA and identify myself as the “elderly woman”. Then I could ask them not to fire her. The system was so huge I knew this would not make sense. They would think I was deranged. Meditation was the answer. Afterwards I took my “elderly woman” body up the elevator to my memoir writing class at the church’s Center for Life and Learning.

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3 thoughts on ““Get Off the Bus” by Annette Bacon

  1. I’m sorry, that sounds like a really unpleasant start to what sounds like a really pleasant day. It is a strange thing to be rescued from a situation in which you don’t feel you need rescuing.

    Hope the class was great, though. And it seems to be paying off, you wrote this post in an extremely engaging way.

    @IsaLeeWolf
    A Bit to Read

    Like

  2. Hi Regan,

    Gosh, you lead a very exciting life. This story, your picture in the May issue of Skyline Village’s Newsletter, involvement in politics, and work with Bill Clinton, are probably just the tip of the iceberg! Can’t wait to read your memoir.

    And I can’t wait to visit with you Sunday and hope late afternoon – early evening will be OK for you. I am free after 4 pm and can meet you somewhere in the city for tea or a bite. How does that fare with your schedule?

    I think today was discharge day for you. Welcome home😃

    Beth

    On Tue, May 3, 2016 at 10:34 AM, BackStory Essays wrote:

    > Regan Burke posted: “Get Off the Bus I made the 146 bus after a quick run > and put my Ventra card on the reader. It did not beep so I tried it several > times. The driver said that I had an 85 cents negative balance. I > apologized and said that I only had a ten and a twenty. She” >

    Like

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