Oh, the Livingston Area Transportation Services bus. It can be the best friend of those students who suffer from the chill of Geneseo's winters, whether they live deep in north village, on Court Street, or across no-man's land in south village.
The bus is a haven for those leaving the library late at night, and a chariot to freshmen needing rides to Walmart or Wegmans. It is such a blessing that we will even overlook the noxious fumes and the way that bus rides bring us back to the days of recess and "Rugrats" backpacks.
It forces us to suspend our dignity, jam in our iPod headphones and pretend that the bus is the coolest form of transportation. Unless we have to stand, that is.
In spite of the convenience and friendly drivers, there is something about standing on the bus that ruins the whole experience. Ricocheting around the bends and hills while the chairlift at the emergency exit constantly prods you in the back really seems to wash away the glamour – one unbalanced foot after the other. When you're walking toward the bus and can see that the seats are full with people already filling up the back, you know you're in for a whole different kind of ride.
So here is a shout-out to the boy with the earring and blue baseball hat who gave up his seat last week on the 9:17 a.m. run from Erie Hall to Milne Library.
I was a part of the masses flooding the bus at that particular time. Ahead of me a girl was carrying the equivalent of upstairs Milne with her, filling an entire backpack and an over-the-shoulder bag. She shuffled her way down the aisle with the rest of us, and I realized that she was clearly not going to have any free hands to grab the handrail and prevent herself from falling into the laps of those seated around her.
This particular boy realized it too, and I watched as he very suavely slipped into the aisle just as she walked by, leaving his now-open seat for her to collapse into – which she did.
A "thanks" may have been murmured, a look may have been exchanged, but no one else seemed to notice this small act of kindness that probably prevented multiple bruises. It was so pleasant to watch that I almost remembered – sandwiched between the window and someone who forgot to brush his teeth – all the reasons why I love the bus. Almost.