Joey and the Irish Peach

It’s 11:04pm, I’m driving the last 35 to boulder creek and I’m stopped at the light on Front street at Soquel. It’s late and I’m tired and all I want to do is go home. I can see someone frantically waiving at me from the bus stop in front of CVS. Fuck. I can’t tell who it is but I know it’s probably not going to be good and I’m already over it. The light turns green and the waiving gets more frantic. It’s a guy and he’s running back and forth between the curb and a shopping cart. Back and forth, back and forth, three times in quick succession as I slow for the stop.

::sigh:: It’s Joey.

Imagine Mister Magoo as a drunk schizophrenic that likes drugs except without the glasses and you’ve got Joey. He’s bent over the shopping cart, digging through a pile of recycle. “The bus is here! The bus is here!”

“Hurry up Joey! I wanna go home.”

“The bus is here! The bus is here! Come on man, the bus is here!”

He’s yelling at the bundled up lump of a man sitting on the bench that obviously has zero interest in Joey or the bus.


“Yeah, okay m’am I’m coming!” Joey runs over and taps the lump on the shin with is foot. “The bus is here!”

The lump yells, “Fuck off you fucking asshole!”

“He doesn’t want the bus Joey, lets go!”

“He said he wants the 71!”

“Joey, this is the 35.”

“Yes m’am, I’m coming!” He jumps onto the bus with an armload of stuff and a big black trash back that’s nearly empty. He runs to the back of the bus.

“You gotta put money in the box, bro!”

“I ain’t got 3 arms!”


Joey comes running back down the aisle. “I just need to get one more thing!”

“No more things!!”

“Yes m’am, but can I at least get my jacket?”

::sigh: “Go on, get your jacket.”

“Yes m’am, thank you m’am” He bends over the shopping cart to rifle through it some more. “I can’t just leave all of this recycle here…”

“You can and you will or I will leave you! Ain’t nobody got time for you and your recycle right now.”

A voice from the back of the bus yells “I gotta go to work!”

A second voice chimes in “Hurry up!”

Joey jumps back onto the bus with his jacket in the crook of his arm, three empty water bottles in one hand and a laundry detergent container in the other. He stands at the fare box trying to stick his hands in his pocket to get at his money. “I have it right here!”

::sigh:: “Have a seat Joey, you’ve earned it.”

“Thank you beautiful!” He walks down the aisle to the back of the bus. “She’s beautiful isn’t she! She’s a beautiful Irish peach!”

What the fuck is an Irish peach? It doesn’t matter. I settle into tonights soundtrack for the last 35. It’s the sound of joey’s recycling bag skidding back and forth across the floor with every turn, occasionally punctuated by shouts of “Goodbye! See you later!” as people exit and “She’s a lovely peach”, periodically, for seemingly no reason other than to remind himself of my Irish peachy goodness.


He had eyes as big as his heart

I pull up to lane 2 about 7 minutes before my departure time so technically I have at least 2 minutes to fuck off before I load and to be honest it’s more like 6 minutes because there is only two people waiting for me.

As soon as I stop the bus Little Dude comes up to the door. I try to ignore him but he’s standing there with a dopey grin on his face so instead of giving him my usual surly “it’s my fucking break time” face I open the door and let him know it’s going to be a couple minutes before I start to load. He smiles and tells me he’s just getting his money ready for when it’s actually time to load. It’s totally my lucky day because he’s obviously tarded and even more obviously adorable. He looks like a little brown bug with big eyes and a bald head and the dumbest grin I’ve seen all week.

I pretend to check out my bus because now I feel kind of like an asshole for making the kid stand out in the cold while I fuck around on Facebook. I open the doors and let him and the other passenger in. He keeps reciting “highway 17 San Jose” over and over along with the announcements that the bus is making. A testament to his cuteness is that I didn’t immediately want to strangle him until his little bug eyes popped out. The whole way over the hill he’s bobbing and dancing to what appears to be the music in his own head because the little fucker wasn’t wearing headphones and my ears have been finely tuned to pick up on even the quietest of speakers because the metro gods forbid me to pass up any opportunity to shut down those damn UC kids. Anyway, I’m almost completely down the far side of he hill and Little Dude comes up to me to ask what time we will get to “Deeidon station”.

“Heh, idk bro, like 20-25 minutes. I guess it all depends on traffic.”
He stands there deep in thought for a minute and then pulls some beef jerky out of his pocket and hands it to me. “Here because you might get hungry. I always get hungry on these long bus rides.” In my head I’m like “best friend!” But out like I say “thanks man, I appreciate it.” Because I’m a fucking professional.

Then he stands sideway and act like he’s riding the bus like a surf board as I go over a few bumps. Then he says “wow! That’s so much better than a jump house!” And he walks back to his seat. I’m totally smitten already but no, little fucker isn’t done being adorable. We get to “Deeidon station” and he tells me it was the best ride ever and says he’s gonna check my bus for stuff on his way out so I don’t have to get up. I might have been offended by his implication that I’m a lazy-fatty of a bus driver but when someone offers me snacks and then does my job for me I’ll be he last to complain.

Happy Wednesday. 🙂