Best Story of the Week…April 5th

It’s 5 A.M. as I head to a job….quiet and misty, desolate and dark as I walk towards the Park with plans to cross it to catch the C Train.  It’s a short walk I make often though some would say, not safely at this hour.

In the meantime, the crosstown bus is zooming towards Madison like a fire engine answering a call. In the old days, before they made you click your Metrocard in a machine before boarding, I would have just hopped on. Oh well, no time for the machine since the driver, a middle-aged woman with bright red hair, seems to be in an awful hurry though forced to stop at the light slamming on her breaks.

We exchange what I assumed would be a quick look, when she says…”Hey, where you goin’ at this ow’a?”

I step closer and say, “To catch the C.”

“You hailin’ a taxi, I hope?”

“I never take cabs, out of principle, since they charge 5 bucks to just open the door.”

“So, you’re tellin’ me you’re walkin’ through the park?”

“Yes, it’s a short stroll.”

“Get on,” she says, like a truant officer.

“No, I really need the walk.”


Never one to argue with someone who speeds, I do, joining one other woman on the bus who looks as if she saw a ghost.

“You okay?”

“Well I was till I go on this bus.”

Before I could ask why, our driver steps on the gas like she’s running Daytona, causing both of us to slam into the seat in front of us.

“She’s tryin’ a kill  us…been drivin’ like that since I got on. Like, what’s the hurra’…is there a fia?”

“It must be to keep awake, the night shift after all is tough.”

“Hasn’t she ever heard’a coffa’?”

“Just think how early we’ll be.”

“Not if we’re day’ed we won’t be.”

When we both got off at Central Park West I say thanks again.

“Took no time at all to get over here. Isn’t it great?” I say to the other lady.

“NO,” she says, waiting for the door to open like a calf at a rodeo.

“She’s joking,” I say to the driver who does not look amused.

“Aren’t ya?”

“No, I’m not. Get me off this day’amed bus…NOW.”

“Well alrighty then, take good care,” I say, as we watch her run like she escaped from the nuthouse.

“Listen, said Mario Andretti, “no more’a this walkin’ through the park when it’s dark. You can always flag down a bus.”

“Yeah but, it’s not your fault I didn’t have the time to scan my card, and I was hurrying.”

“Takes a second for some creep to slam ya over the head, besides, the rules change overnight,” she said, “don’t you do that again, ya hear?”

I was all set to explain the Ed Crescimanni Rule for always arriving early, but she seems like a woman perpetually on the go so I thank her, running to catch the train.

Who says New Yorkers don’t care about each other.



About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Thanks.
This entry was posted in Culture, grace, humanity, humor, New York City, travel, women and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to Best Story of the Week…April 5th

  1. skinnyuz2b says:

    Another uplifting story, Susannah. I pictured that bus in Speed.
    I always like to be early, too. It’s not worth the fretting and angst at every red light that plots to make me later. I get all frazzled if I don’t have a few minutes to unwind.
    I’m off to teach one of my favorite subjects today, high school English.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. robprice59 says:

    Time is money, they say, but there’s little point being the richest in the graveyard. I used to go everywhere flat-out; possibly the influence of motorcycles, which always seem to demand you ride them like you stole them. Now I’m in electric car mode, things are a lot more sedate.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dale says:

    I couldn’t help but picture the crazy bus ride in Harry Potter – Prisoner of Azkaban, I think. “It’s gonna be a bumpy ride!”
    Maria Andretti sounds like a gruff big-hearted broad! Who ensured your safety..
    I’m sure New Yawk is full of those…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sorryless says:

    That’s one of the misconceptions about the place. That New Yorkers are too busy hustling and bustling to give a damn. But when you slow them down, you learn otherwise.
    Good for her, getting you on that bus. And I agree with her, the rules change at night. No sunshine-less strolls in the park, coo?


  5. Eilene Lyon says:

    Crazy!! Do people get mugged at 5 a.m.? I figured all the bad guys must be passed out by then. Love the dialogue!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m a fearless New Yorker down to my socks. I never think in those terms though I know she’s right. I’m careful having built-in senses like a cat thanks to all that alcoholism I grew up in, but the dark can definitely be menacing. Like living in the jungle. Gotta watch out for that occasional lion. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m glad you are safe, but did you lose a few minutes of your life on that racing bus? It was an excellent story, especially since you were alive to write it.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Patricia says:

    I don’t understand why some bus drivers are in such a hurry then have to slam on the brakes when they see someone waiting for the bus. They’re on a schedule that’s planned no need to rush. Of course, there aren’t many bus drivers in a hurry here in SC.😼

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ve seen enough bus drivers who are jerks to really appreciate the ones that try to help people, like the one in Korea who stopped to give detailed instructions to a confused pedestrian or the one who dug into her own wallet to make change for me to ride the bus. By the way, I love the way you write the accent. It really puts the reader there. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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