Guest Post: Stop and Go

Guest post by Susan from Adventures in Low Vision

After work, I ride the bus to my husband’s office. I enjoy the camaraderie of a shared ride in rush hour despite the lack of air conditioning in the summer. I like the arrivals and departures, sensing the mood of the day in my twenty-minute travel.

As I boarded the bus last week, I passed my fare card over the sensor, greeting the driver. I tap to the middle of the bus where two vacant seats welcome my weary self.

Sure, I could settle in the area in the front of the bus for people with disabilities, but at my stop, students hop on from a college. It’s easier for me to exit via the rear door. Typically, I breeze out the door before any students deposit money into the silver farebox.

The ride, it starts well. I zone out for 15 minutes, anticipating the hard left that happens before my block. My body shifts with the turn, and I pull the cord to request my stop.

The bus slows up. Students step on as I stand to collect my bag and white cane. I glide over to the rear exit, pushing on the bright yellow handle that even my eyes see clearly. The door burps open a space, then freezes. I push again, but the door just absorbs it, refusing to move.

“It’s a push, right?” I say to the lady sitting across from me. I think she nods. I push again without success. I turn as the driver releases the brake. The bus starts rolling.

I am missing my stop because I don’t go to the gym. I open my mouth. Before I can say anything, the lady near me hollers with control, “Back door.”

We yell it together once more. The driver hits the brakes. I shoot a grateful smile to my fellow passenger as I throw my shoulder into the door. It flies open, offering me exit. I step down to the sidewalk with relief, knowing next time I’ll have to hulk it on that door.

I love it when my upper arm strength is the issue, not my dodgy vision. There’s never a dull moment on the bus.

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