Monday, 3 August, 2020

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.

Subterfuge

  John (a different John, not the fellow from the 358 posts) seems to come from another age. Multicolored crumbs pepper his dry lips and beard. His eyes are glassy, sometimes present, sometimes far away. A gentle cloud of paraphernalia seems to drift ever around him- garbage bags on their last legs, the red...
  The actual words spoken were not so much the meat of the exchange. It was the noises in between. You have to imagine the bubbling, incandescent laughter- perhaps giggling is a more accurate term- which emanated from both of us, for the duration of the conversation. He came forward at...

Stephanie at 185th

  "I got my transfer in here somewhere." We're at 185th inbound, and her face is lined with age and humor, that kind of spirit you don't find enough, equal parts confident and humble. She's over fifty, blue-gray eyes, wearing a couple older sweatshirts and nursing some bulging paper bags,...
  In that doorway, over there on Second South, is where a woman goes at night. She injects and imbibes various assortments of drugs as her body shudders and moans, phasing through the different reactions, pushing out time and life. Just down the block is where a shooting was last night; Sho...
  Yes it is! The title says it all. Have you thanked your driver lately? Officially speaking, today's the day to do so, although you're welcome to do so any day you choose! Driving the bus is a rewarding task, but an extremely demanding one. I'm amused when passengers ask if "it...
  Northbound Aurora at 100th. Leaning into the front door: "Hey, did you see a, I left a wallet a couple hours ago…?" "Uhh," I said. I look around on the dash. This coach has been out all day, already operated on for eight hours by another operator. We have an agreement where...
  At 3rd and Virginia, on my 358: a large African-American man in his fifties gets on. I ask him how he's doing. He's doing fine, and he sits down somewhere behind me. A moment later he comes back up. "Hey, what's your bus number?" "Wha-?" I don't know what the coach...

Picker’s Remorse

Read more stories from the bus at nathanvass.com. "Whuhjjoo pick?" What'd you pick? It's the question we operators all ask each other, right after "Pick-" that thrice-yearly event in which we have an opportunity to choose a different route. It's all terribly exciting, and not unlike a total job change- you might...