At S.W. Sixth and Broadway at the bottom of Pill Hill, I got off one bus to cross to the Rt. 19 bus stop. A car on Sixth pointed towards downtown was well past the place where he should’ve stopped, not in the way of Broadway traffic but still sticking out like a sore thumb. “Niiiiiiiiice stop!” I thought. I even did the patented SarcastiClap, that slow clapping people in movies do to mock someone’s less-than-impressive actions; think when Riggs and Murtaugh accidentally blow up the building in Lethal Weapon 3.
My bus arrived, and I stood to the side of the aisle and read C.S. Lewis’s science fiction novel Perelandra (I’m finally seeing how Lewis influenced Arthur C. Clarke, and that’s neat) as we inched toward the Ross Island Bridge to Southeast Portland. And when we reached the bridge I was surprised to see two people ahead, on the very edge of the bridge’s eastbound side. When we got closer, I saw that they were two girls, maybe, oh, I don’t know, about 10 or 11 (I’m lousy at guessing ages), rolling their bikes. With precious little clearance between the side of the bridge and the sides of cars because there is no sidewalk on that side. Needless to say, they did not look happy to be there. I’m guessing they tried biking across the bridge, and had realized just how stupendously dumb an idea that had been and were backtracking. (I can’t imagine they had come all the way from the bridge’s east side!) The bus driver stopped to give them a clear space away from cars, and I thought he was going to open the door and let them board. However, the girls walked right past.
Oy. I have to hope they’re all right, and I have to hope they learned a lesson. That was the wrong kind of eye-opener.