Monday, December 30, 2013

The Genuinely Nice Bus Driver Who is Looking for Someone Nice

I wonder if the emotions we project are the
same emotions we get back, no matter what time or place
we are in at any given moment. 

(photo by Tameca L Coleman, 
found on Colfax, graffiti in chalk, Denver)
On my way home tonight, I was greeted by a happy and polite bus driver who complimented me on my smile and manners. I told him thanks and went to a seat. He seemed nice. This made me smile more.

We talked for the length of my bus ride home or rather, mostly I listened and answered when an answer was requested. He related that he was ex-military and had moved from the city of Lost Angels because he couldn't find women there who were anything but hostile and mean. He spoke of the '70s and of how women seemed to be different then, maybe even people generally.

"There was more politeness. People smiled more. They complimented each other," he said.

He then related that he had been on a search for a wife for many years. He hadn't found her yet, not even after having moved to Denver, a city which upon first visit he considered much more polite than L.A. His move was sixteen years ago, probably many years after he had first checked out Denver.

Today, two ladies on the bus, myself and a girl in her early twenties had shown the bus driver that nice people still exist. I was happy that I was not in one of my grumpy or despondent moods.

So, I continued to listen. He went on and related that even here in Denver, women had become a bit sour sometimes and though polite, often distant as if their politeness was a face that they had put on with their makeup.

I wasn't sure what to make of all this but I was reminded of a video I had seen, maybe a couple of weeks ago, of a Q&A section on an episode of Soul Train. It was from the seventies and it seemed that every person who had gotten up to the mic to ask the band questions was soft and well spoken and coming from a place of utter genuineness. Also, no one pushed to the mic but listened and waited gently. Of course, this was television. It may or may not have had something to do with it.

I remembered the Q&A session because to me, it was so different than the way I see people portrayed in media now, or even at my work as a barista. Often, it seems that people tend to be more direct in such a way that seems quite rude, even for us Americans. We live in a fast paced world with many distractions, interruptions, and much noise. Cutting through it all perhaps has become a necessity (?).

I wondered then, if it was just a different time. The episode I had watched looked like it was from the seventies. Everyone in the episode seemed to take great care not only in their speech but in their dress. Despite them all being on air, it really felt as if the people here were indeed more gentle somehow, even with all of the things that were happening during that time, historically.

Proof that sometimes I am maybe not nice. If looks could
kill, right? 
Then I tried to remember back to places I have lived and visited and it seemed to me that there were nice people everywhere, mean people, too. It didn't matter if it was on the East Coast or West, the South or the mid-states. It could be small towns or bigger cities. Still, everywhere I've been, over 3 decades and then some, places seemed to feature all kinds of people, mean, nice, and of varying degrees. It didn't matter where they were from.

People seemed to interact with others by way of whatever experiences and interpretations of those experiences that they carried. To me, this seems to point to something. Despite changing times, despite tumult, being held in comfort or harms way, depending on what and how people carried things determined whether they were generally nice or not. Sometimes that meant inconsistency as each day carried perhaps different stresses or boons. Further, whatever perceptions were received probably had something to do with it.

I'm used to tired and over-worked bus drivers who say nothing to their passengers and are sometimes very curt and mean if they speak at all (depending on the route and how much they have to deal with) so it was a nice surprise to me tonight to be received onto a bus where the driver was smiling and happy and wanting to engage with me, a total stranger! I was more than happy to have a conversation with him. It was so easy, and just because he smiled and engaged.


  1. What a thoughtful and lovely post!

  2. Thank you so much for stopping by and reading! Thank you for your support, as well! Sending lots of love! <3

  3. I enjoyed reading this Tameca. I think about stuff like this all of the time. What you asked about whether or not the emotions we project we get back was part of this all, struck me.

    1. Felicia! Hi! Thank you so much for stopping by here and reading. I think about this stuff all the time, too. I have finally decided to try an output and see if others are thinking the same. It's hard to tell sometimes what people think so your saying something really means a lot.

  4. I met a nice person on the bus many years ago.. I wish her the best in 2014!! Happy New Year!!!

    It is nice to be nice...

    1. Harvey! (I think that's you?). Thank you so much for stopping by here and reading. I really appreciate it. Here's to nice people everywhere! We need more of 'em! Lots of light to you!

  5. It's great to read your posts, Tameca, and I celebrate your many gifts to the world!

    1. Thank you so much, Debra! Thank you for visiting and saying Hello! Happy New Year, my friend!