As most of you now know, we gave up our car last September and are experimenting with living an urban lifestyle dependant upon public transit and, well, hoovin' it. On the way to work last week, a new driver mysteriously appeared driving my morning route.
This guy was the MOST polished gentleman I have seen in some time. His navy blue shirt was crisp, ironed with precision for every crease and fold meeting military dress quality. His hair was perfectly manicured, shaved close around the temples and ears, sweeping up to a two inch stylish afro squared off atop his head. His beard was a sheer work of art. His chiseled features were strikingly matched by the carefully clipped hedging along his jaw. I've not seen anything like it before. A circular gray patch on his chin was the focal point of the masterpiece beard. From the white circle two black (I wondered if he dyed them that way) arcs raced up his jawline and ended in perfect points nearly meeting the bottoms of the lobes of his ears. Altogether the beard looked like a giant smile under his mouth. Or some kind of freaky clown face, depending on your personal knowledge of old Steven King movies.
At any rate, what was as curious as the new driver's appearance was his inability to drive anywhere quickly. The new driver somehow matched his articulate personal style with equal care driving. He was so cautious, it became annoying. At one point, it took nearly five minutes to take a right - TAKE A RIGHT - in light traffic! And, I swear, we never got out of second gear, like during the whole ride! He was a good driver. But too good. Too careful. Too cautious.
I got to work about five minutes later than when riding with the normal lady driver. Now, she drives the bus. And while she's doing it, she chats up the ladies in the front the whole time. She knows her business, does it well and gets us where we all need to go safely. She's a multi-tasking, quick-witted talent. Personally, I like CARTA's drivers, and rarely complain since I find riding the bus kind of entertaining. And riding beats the hell out of battling even the most occassional bouts of road-rage.
It's been a few days and I haven't seen the gentleman driver with the facial hair artwork. I'm sure if I do see him again, he will be doing whatever he is doing slowly and carefuly.