A while back I mentioned that I was developing an unintentional and unwanted relationship with a bus driver. It was a half joking/half serious admission (I’m kidding… but seriously) that my bus driver’s abundance of friendliness was creeping over the line from “pleasant” to a little -- well -- creepy.
Here the thing: I don’t really get hit on that often, nor do I tend to assume I’m getting hit on… but bus driver man (or “creepy bus driver man” as I now refer to him)... something just isn’t right.
Here’s how the situation escalated. It started out as nothing more than “hello” or “good morning,” then he began asking me how I was, and finally, he started waving to me as I exited the bus. Fine. I’d rather not be waving to the driver as I cross the street in front of his bus, but no harm done. Right?
It got worse. First, I noticed, from to time, that it appeared as though he was staring at me in the rear view mirror. That bugged me, so I remedied the problem by ensuring I chose a seat out of his direct line of sight.
Then, every so often, if I have been on vacation, stayed at MM’s place, or was excessively early or late, I would miss his bus, sometimes for several days in a row (to my relief). When I would end up on his bus again, he began asking me, “Where have you been?” His tone sounded almost… accusatory… as though I was cheating on him with another bus driver. Once he even told me that he “waited for me.”
Seriously, how long could he have possibly waited? Until the light changed to green? Please. We are not in an exclusive bus driver/bus rider relationship. Yet, he does not seem to understand this.
Last week, it happened again. After being absent from his route Monday and Tuesday, I showed up midweek and he inquired, “Where have you been? I have not seen you.”
I answered, truthfully, “Oh, sometimes my boyfriend drives me in the morning.”
I know. I hate myself a little bit for playing the boyfriend card, but it had to be done. Those two syllables (boy-friend) seemed to work like a charm. He stopped questioning my whereabouts; he no longer waited when I got off the bus so he could wave goodbye to me.
Due to a variety of circumstances, MM, who has been privy to this saga, rode the bus with me both yesterday and this morning. As soon as it became evident that this guy was the aforementioned "boyfriend," Creepy bus driver man stopped even saying, “Hello.” Problem solved, right?
This morning, MM rode the bus to the end of the line, several stops beyond my exit point. He was the last passenger on the bus.
My phone range at 9am, approximately 15 minutes after he and I had parted ways.
Lou: Hi. Is something wrong?
MM: No. Uh... Your bus driver wanted me to pass along a message.
Lou: Oh God. Are you kidding?
MM: No. He said, “Tell your lady…”
Lou: What? He called me, “Your lady.” Ew.
MM: … “that her CTA card is on the hot list.”
Lou: The "hot list. What does that mean? Is that a euphemism?
MM (laughing): I don’t know.
Lou: Seriously, if something was wrong with my card when I got on the bus, why didn’t he just tell me?
MM (still laughing): I don’t know.
Lou: You see, you see what I mean? This is not my imagination!
MM (still laughing): Yes. I agree with you.
So I called CTA customer service and found out two key pieces of information:
1) There is such a thing as a “hot list.”
2) My card is not on it, nor is there any thing wrong with my card or my account.
I seriously have to change my commute.