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One Fine Day (standard:drama, 1999 words)
Author: Andrew DaytonAdded: Jun 07 2005Views/Reads: 2966/1856Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
A Busdriver of middling ambition gets an important wake up call.

One Fine Day 

As I was driving the city bus along my regular route one day, weaving in
and out of the busy mid-town traffic, I found myself absorbed in the 
familiar pattern of contemplating my life and dreaming of a better one. 
 Daydreaming was my escape from the boredom of the job and I indulged 
in it often.  So often that the din of people laughing, talking and 
shuffling newspapers barely intruded on my thoughts.  Today I was 
playing the usual game of wondering what other lines of work I was 
suited for.  Sadly, I realized there wasn't much I could do.  five 
months ago I had answered the ad for city bus driver and had been able 
to land the job.  I was never late and always had a smile on my face; I 
really couldn't afford to lose this one. Before this job, I had worked 
at Spago's.  I was only a dishwasher but it was always nice to be able 
to tell whoever asked that I worked at Spago's. After a while the 
glamour of working in such a famous place palled and gave way to the 
reality of what I did for a living.  No matter where you work, a 
dishwasher is still just a dishwasher.  I knew I was going nowhere, but 
to dream- much less pursue a dream- needed a heroic effort that was 
beyond me. 

I answered the ad for bus driver when I realized that as much as my
co-workers talked about it, none of them could get bonded.  I felt like 
I had one up on them and that gave me some measure of pride.  Still, 
after only five months the glitz had faded and I was daydreaming about 
actually being able to do something more worthwhile with my.... 
Suddenly, a loud BANG erupted from the front of the bus as it slewed 
toward a line of parked cars. With a little bit of fast brakework, I 
was able to bring the heaving hulk to a stop without wiping out any 
cars.  A chorus of yells that became shouts of outrage and pain 
replaced the regular sounds of passengers being passengers.  Shit.  All 
it takes is a blown tire to ruin my day. I raised my voice, "Sorry 
folks, I can give you all transfers but this is the end of the line." 
As a group of pretty pissed off folks lined off the bus, there were a 
few bloody noses in evidence.  There were also a few threats of 
lawsuits.  The last person off was a rather well-to-do woman, 50ish. 
She scowled and then dope-slapped me, knocking the hat from my head. 
"Incompetent ass," she hissed, "I should have taken the subway!" 

Maybe you all should have lady, I thought to myself as I climbed down
the steps after radioing in for a tow. It hit me then that this could 
be a pretty bad scene for yours truly.  I might even lose my job if 
someone sued.  Damn. Damn. Damn! 

I took a deep breath and stood straight, just for a moment fighting the
burden that rode me.  Then I gave in, already resigning myself to 
unemployment. I started to replace the hat and stopped, letting it hang 
loosely in my hand.  I leaned against the side of the bus and slid down 
to a sitting position. Picture a middle-aged man sitting on the dirty 
ground with his hat pinched in his hands with traffic honking at him 
and you have a pretty good idea how I felt just then. 

"Hey, fella." 

I looked up wearily at the owner of the voice and saw a kind-looking guy
not much older than I. Probably 40 or 45. I didn't even hear him 
approach, which was odd because in this town my radar tends to go off 
if someone gets too close. He looked safe enough as he hunkered down on 
his heels and looked at the sad remains of the tire.  "Pretty lousy way 
to start off your day, huh?" 

I didn't even bother.  Undeterred, he swung his gaze back to me. 

"You're kinda new on this line, aren't you?"  He asked. 

"Yeah, well five months give or take, how'd you know?" 

"I tend to see a lot of this city and your face is new." He replied.  He
went on, "Think you'll lose your job, being new and all?" 

A cheering thought, that, but kept my mouth shut.  Instead I favored him
with a scowl. 

"It's not the worst thing that could happen you, know...,"  He started. 

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