Anyone who has lived in Weston has (at least once) had to ride the 89 Weston bus.
The ride is often not a very pleasant one. Hot and smelly in the summer, crowded in the winter, each passenger jostling for a small piece of personal space.
There are so many stories that can be written about the things that happen on this bus, but today, I am going to tell you a story about the old man in the trench coat.
It was a cold, blustery winter day when I was standing on the bus platform at Keele Station waiting for the 89 Weston bus. The platform, as is typically the case during rush hour was packed. We were all standing so close to one another that you could almost feel the other person breathing, all of us, that is, except for one.
At the corner of the platform stood an old man in a brown trench coat. His back was hunched and his face hidden as he tried to shield himself from the snow that danced around us. When the bus finally arrived he got on and sat down on a seat close to the window, one of those single seats.
The bus began to move and I drifted between thoughts of what I was going to have for dinner and for lunch the next day at work. I was half gazing out the window and listening to my music when the old man once again caught my eye. This time he pulled something out of his coat. The young women who stood close to him looked shocked and horrified. I noticed them quickly move away from him, trying to find a spot, any spot in the crowd that was away from him.
After they had moved, I was able to see what the old man in the brown trench coat had pulled out; he had pulled out a rat.
The rat was big and brown. Its long thick beige tail hung like a rope.
The old man in the brown trench coat was talking to it and hugging it. It was clearly his companion. No one dared say a word, they simply looked on in disbelief.
Once my own feelings of shock subsided, I couldn’t help but feel an overwhelming sense of empathy wash over me. It is so hard in this lifetime to find someone we can love, someone we can trust and if this rat provided that comfort in this mans life, who was I to judge.
It also reminded me once more, that you never know that you will see when you take a ride on the 89 Weston bus. I would love to hear about your adventures on this bus. Please share your experiences in the comments below.