I live on 7th Street in Covington, KY, and I work on 7th Street in Cincinnati, OH. Sometimes I walk to work, which takes about 30 minutes, but with the weather being what it is lately (read: cold), I’ve been taking the bus to work quite a bit. It shows up on the corner in front of the Cock & Bull every fifteen minutes, costs a dollar (the usual buses cost $1.25), and it’s not overcrowded, which generally bodes for a decent ride, as long as creepy bus guy isn't around (he’ll be reviewed at a later date).
The driver in the morning—the 7:05 bus—is generally a really nice guy. He’s got a mustache and wishes everyone a good day as they get off the bus. Sometimes, though, he’s too nice.
A couple months ago, Jill bought me a new pair of pants and I was still getting used to them. The bus came, I got on, and put my dollar into the little cash pillar that sits next to the driver’s seat.
“Morning,” I said.
“Hey,” the driver said, smiling.
As I started toward the seat that I usually sit in (on the left, just in front of the steps), he stopped me.
“Now, I’m not sure, but I think you left your fly down, brother.”
I tried to play it off cool, thanked him, and sat down.
I pulled the zipper up as silently and subtly as I could, thinking all the while of two things—a—he’d looked at my crotch (does he do that every time I get on?), and b—that there might be some kind of unspoken brotherhood that I’ve never before known. I am a member of the fly club, I guess.
It was embarrassing to a degree (it wasn’t that bad), but it kind of made me feel closer to him, his quiet manner, his Hulk Hogan syntax, his rockin’ mustache.
The usual afternoon driver is a messy-haired, good-natured fat man who only says, “Hello” and “very good, thank you” when asked how he is. He also calls out the stops very loudly when approaching them, which is nice and makes me wonder what partaking of the public transportation in the days of old was like…his voice calms me down and reminds me that the work day is over.
The Southbank, in my opinion, is the business. It makes me feel metropolitan, in a backwards way. It also makes me feel like I’m part of a community, an animal of routine, and an all-around okay guy. I guess I am.