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24 September 2002

At the conclusion of the AIDS walk, I went back to the car with Kathleen to get my overnight bag, then she drove me to the bus stop where I planned to take the bus to Davis. Walt was in San Francisco at the 49er game and bus service from Sacramento to Davis, while slow, is direct. The bus, in fact, stops just two blocks from our house (of course when I got off the bus, that was a very long two blocks to hobble on my blister!) and only costs $1.25. Not too shabby.

The first problem was that as I stood there under the "Yolo Bus" sign, the Yolo bus came and didn't stop. While this in itself is irritating--the Yolo bus comes only once an hour, so I knew I had a long time to wait. (I considered calling to see if Ned was home, but decided that even if he was home, by the time he got to the bus stop, the next bus would be along anyway.)

Eventually the bus did come. By the time it got there, the temps were heading upwards. The weather report says that Sacramento hit record temps for this date in weather history (103). It probably was about that while I was standing in the sun waiting for the bus to come.

I managed to find a seat by an open window, so I was able to get some of the breeze that blew through the bus as it moved from stop to stop.

As the bus moved into one of the "less desirable" sections on the outskirts of Sacramento, two adolescents got on. You know the type. Swaggering, pants around the waist, huge cuffs, odd hair style. Different ethnicity. The sort of kids that make you look around to make sure there are other adults close by and clutch your bag a little more tightly...just in case.

The kids were raucous, laughing, talking about guns, etc.

I'm not normally a judgemental person (or at least I try not to be), but I was going to be very glad when these kids got off the bus.

I happened to be wearing a huge "AIDS march button" and one of the kids spied it and started reading it outloud. I kind of smiled at him and told him I'd just done the march.

"Do they pay you for that?" he asked.

I told him that not only did they not pay, but that we had each collected money for the various organizations that the walk was supporting.

His demeanor softened immediately. He told me about friends who had HIV and/or AIDS and how fearful he was for himself.

He told me about how he was trying to take precautions so he would not contract HIV.

He told me what a wonderful person I was for participating in the walk.

As he got up to leave the bus, he said, "You will surely be blessed for doing something like that."

I felt somewhat ashamed of myself when he was gone. I had based all of my perceptions of him on the stereotype. And here was this seemingly decent kid who blessed me when he got off the bus.

For someone who has complained for years about stereotypes people have of fat people, I discovered that I'm not any better than anybody else. It's just that my own set of stereotypes were a bit different.

It was an excellent way to end the day. I had marched for AIDS...and I'd learned a good lesson about human nature. Definitely not a wasted day.

Quote of the Day

I always try to communicate with any foreigner I meet on the assumption that we are both simply human beings.

-Dalai Lama 

Photo of the Day

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More of Tommy



One Year Ago
when we packed, we packed all our warm clothing--sweatsuits, a woolen poncho, I bought a waterproof jacket. We were prepared to layer to keep warm in the heavy winds.
Seemed kind of silly today when we were driving around in a very pleasant mid-60s day with sun shining down on us!

Two Years Ago
Mid-Night Musings
The sad thing about this weekend is that it is to be Buddy's last. We haven't had the dog long,but his cancer is progressing and he's in a lot of pain now....We've made arrangements to have him put down Monday morning. He's been a sweet dog. I wish we had more time with him.

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Created 9/22/02