Driving and Biking in the Big City

Folks along the way

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I see quite a smorgasbord of people on a daily basis in my commute from Kingwood to the Texas Medical Center. All ranks of wealth, race, religion, size, transport and crankiness.  Again, I think every one of them has a great story to tell. And, the empath in me – for a brief moment – takes a breath and leads that other life.

I see a businessman at a bus stop with his briefcase and his own thoughts, and I’m there with him – wondering what brought him here so early in the morning. Jobless?  New job? Where is his car in this vehicular town?

How about this beautiful old couple at the train stop in the heart of the medical center. How long have they been together? He has his umbrella in case of rain; she has a big bag packed full of special items to keep them safe and comfy during their day away from home. Where are their kids?  How prepared are they for this journey to the heart of healthcare?

The medical center regulars joke sometimes about the problems they see folks have as they traverse the arteries of the medical center. It’s not funny, of course, especially for those of us who know exactly where we are going. As soon as I get impatient with the car in front of me, I realize it is a patient probably seeking some life-saving cure for some dread disease. No need to rush. I can wait through another two or three green lights for you to decide where you are going.

Sometimes I play a little game that folks may consider a bit disrespectful. It’s called “homeless” or “volunteer.” Of course, most of the homeless I see in my urban commute are tragic figures, and I am not making light of a situation that is truly close to my heart and my own volunteer interests. However, when the folks line up for free breakfast at one of the churches in the medical center area, sometimes the volunteers can be casually dressed and the homeless may have a new change of clothes from the exact volunteers who are lined up with them. Thus, you get a lot of khakis and pullovers of the same folks.  I practice my observation skills by trying to spot that one tell-tale giveaway that this is a person who has no other place to stash his or her belongs.

I also drive by the engineers and other students who jog around Rice University for exercise. I fly my geek colors pretty high so again I’m not making fun when I say you can spot them. The fanny packs. The mismatched, tight shorts. The bad haircuts. The strange tie-back hair situations. Of course, they are smart and will make a fortune some day. Plus, they are exercising. I say, “Go get ‘em.”

Big Johnny took some beautiful photos of my commute so you can visit with some of the folks who make my drive entertaining every day.


Written by commuterchroniclesdbh

May 11, 2012 at 1:04 pm

2 Responses

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  1. I love you Denise! Its so good to know I am not the only one is the world that is mentally challanged when it come to directions. COSTCO did sell a GPS’s for “on foot”. I HATE myself for not buying one! I could use one at this Rennaissance Hotel we are staying at. The Stephen King movie The Shinning comes to mind…the Overlook Hotel…the hallway. I expect to see those twin girls at the end of the hall. It ALL looks the same! I get my workout just trying to find the elevator! So the Morman boys were mischif making?

    pattie michael

    June 6, 2012 at 7:29 am

    • Ha ha!! I suspect everyone had an agenda that day. Mine was just to get out of the way, so I didn’t stay to see what happened next.

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