Nathan Vass

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Nathan Vass is an artist, filmmaker, photographer, and author by day, and a Metro bus driver by night, where his community-building work has been showcased on TED, NPR, The Seattle Times, KING 5 and landed him a spot on Seattle Magazine’s 2018 list of the 35 Most Influential People in Seattle. He has shown in over forty photography shows is also the director of nine films, six of which have shown at festivals, and one of which premiered at Henry Art Gallery. His book, The Lines That Make Us, is a Seattle bestseller and 2019 WA State Book Awards finalist.

The Glow II

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At Letitia I put the lift out, saying goodbye to a couple I haven't seen in some years. He's a Vietnam vet with a summer job transporting convicts between different prisons cross-country. She remembers me from the 5 and likes my attitude. They're on their way to the hospital and...
  Two years ago I posted the first of these stories, which now number in the hundreds and stem from seven years of bus driving. The story was from a page in a journal which I never intended to share, but there was something about the exchange I very much wanted...

Merger

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  As I woke a scruffy older sleeper at the U District terminal, he grumbled out something I think he intended to be derogatory. Something about "you know what you and your coworker, buhuuuh uuh," a remnant from that zone between dreams and wakefulness. I couldn't understand his slurred speech...

Here They Come

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We're headed out to the Valley. I pull up to Martin Luther King Way, across from Franklin. It's a dingy gloom tonight. The dealers are on both sides of the street. Various shapes lumber about in the periphery, shifting figures in front of lights, signs of life at the...

Mesfin

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  You can probably guess the degree to which I like talking to people. I love it. But we all have our quiet moments. There are certain cloudy days which have an indescribable air of melancholy. It’s almost comforting, walking under that grayish-white sky, green leaves and open roads in...

Take Another Look

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  I see her brighten the bus stop as I pull up. Third and Union southbound, some time before midnight. Hers is a smile which renders her ageless; you see the girl she used to be, echoes of a happier time. She's thirty-five and thin, ready to go home now,...

Thanks Guys

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  We won't tell anyone I took it for a test drive. As I pulled my 358 into the layover at Second and Main, I noticed someone had forgotten their bicycle on the rack. It was definitely on the junker side of things, a red jalopy of a bicycle with peeling...

Smart Man

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  "Next one is Aurora," I announce from the 44 route. "Aurora Avenue, where you can get the E Line. That's the old 358." People get on, and people get off. As we pull away, I say, "here we go!" I always say something like that. Variations on a theme: "Hang on...