There’s a bus driver in my neighborhood who has a groupie.
The bus he drives goes through my neighborhood, anyway. And he only drives this route on the weekends, as far as I know.
And every single time I get on his bus, there’s a lady in the front passenger seat, talking to him. She’s an older lady, about the same age as the driver. Sometimes, she has a little girl, about 10 or so, with her. Sometimes she’s alone.
I could ride the bus from one end of the line to the next, and the lady never gets out at a stop. And I’ve never seen her board, either. She’s just… always… there.
From the little bit of conversation I’ve heard between the driver and the lady, it doesn’t seem that she’s his wife. I never look for a wedding ring so I may be wrong, but I don’t recall any particular topic that would make me think they share a house at all. Maybe a girlfriend?
But it’s been going on for years now.
Sometimes, when other passengers get on and ask the driver questions, the lady will answer instead. I’m sure she knows this particular route as well as the driver, and likely the rest of TriMet’s system, too. She’ll talk about transfers to other routes, or where different businesses are along the route, or fare structures or where to buy monthly passes.
I’ve seen her in that seat on rainy, stormy days. I’ve seen her in that seat on sunny, warm days (and as a side note, man, I miss those sunny warm days right now). I’ve never seen her with a book or a music player or a magazine or newspaper. I’ve never seen her with groceries or shopping bags. I’ve never seen her engage other regular riders, like me for just one example, in the same way or with the same intensity that she talks to the driver.
I don’t really know what else to call her, but a bus groupie.