I love how something totally unrelated can spark memories from years past that are not more frequently remembered or discussed amongst friends as “those were some good times” stories….
(The title to this blog does not have anything to do with what this is about but is a quote I recall saying from the same time period when my roommate at that time was doing the “white man dance” to the Union Underground album.)
I moved to Gunbarrel, CO (which is pretty much Boulder) in the August after high school graduation, so 9 years ago (whoa! My 10 Year Reunion is next year?! I am old), where a roommate and I shared a 2-bedroom condo. Rent was $1700 a month, which luckily I had a job that I could cover my half rather easily up until I quit. Went off on a little tangent there but anyways, I always took the RTD Bus into Boulder on my days off and spent the entire day down there doing whatever came up. I used to stand there on the southbound stop early in the morning around 8 and I would get off at the main terminal on the 16th Street Mall, which was in front of Sears. I do not know if that is still the case today as that whole place has drastically changed for the awesome..er
Honestly, I love walking places. I loved walking to the bus stop, I loved walking home. I loved being alone with my thoughts, even in the rain. Maybe it was because it felt like I was doing something for myself. I refused to hold my parent’s hand anymore. Or maybe I just thought the notion of setting out alone into the world for a few brief minutes was slightly adventurous….but I still do that now so it goes to show you reasons for doing something can change through the years.
I sat or stood at that bus stop in the Gunbarrel Shopping Center, which was a block away from my condo, with a girl named Michelle. This was back when I was ridiculously shy so I never started a conversation or was short in my answers when she talked and just had that whole awkward, “please let the bus get here so I can sit down” feeling. But instead of showing up a few minutes later to possibly avoid that situation, I showed up at the same time every morning for 2 reasons…Obviously one reason was because she was cute…and the second reason was because I thought maybe my shyness will go away.
That did not happen but we did eventually start having actual conversations as she kept talking to me each day. The bus had a hierarchy. Luckily, by default of being one of the first people on the bus, I was able to sit at the back – the socially acceptable people sat there….I sat up front for the first few weeks because I was shy and I felt like I could see the sights better. Do not ask me why, I do not remember. At the back, the seats on the bus faced each other. It beckoned for everyone to talk to each other. Then further down, the rest of the seats faced the front of the bus. And people who brought no outrageous conversation unfortunately had nothing to do but watch the driver spin his oversized wheel.
Walking home from work brought this memory back. There was no bus driving by, though there was a train. But man, having looked back, I just wanna pat that kid on the back. Because somehow, miraculously, he kept his morals. He clung to his dreams. He moved on from his shortcomings. He did well. And unfortunately he spent a lot of nights crying because he did not congratulate himself enough. But he sees it now. He did well.