I sat down this morning across from a young woman with a dreadful hair cut. It was a few moments before I noticed she kept rolling her eyes a lot staring vacantly out the window, and disagreeing with something. She shook her head no over and over, and returned it to this shameful down position. Then she started mouthing something to her reflection in the window. My curiosity was piqued. I did my best to lip read her mutterings that she was now adamantly opposed to. What I caught was, "NO! NO! I Can't. There are too many people on the bus." I felt bad that whatever she was hallucinating wasn't happy. I mean if your'e nuts why not have fun with it. I wished the voices she was hearing said things like, "Hey that's one snappy haircut." ,or, "I believe that tiny elephant should be wearing parka on a day like today."
Then to add to this surrealism, a herd of 4th graders boarded the bus. Adults were offering up their seats. The crazy girl smiled. From the back of the bus I overheard a boy child say, "If you turn that jump rope into a doughnut, or some other edible substance then I will eat it." I can only assume the girl child had previously said, "Eat my jump rope!"
Every public transit system has its share of the local mentally ill population that rides around, seemingly all day, going nowhere in particular. If they're homeless, in addition to their illness, it may be for a warm place to spend the day in the winter, or a cool one in the summer.

They'll talk to themselves, other passengers, or even to the bus driver, about nearly anything. One particular individual that BT knows as "Jerry" spent a good 15 minutes on my Windsor Hills bus giving a half-intelligible dissertation on the Atlanta Crackers, the AAA farm team of the old Milwaukee Braves before their move to Atlanta (and subsequent relocation of the Crackers to become the Richmond Braves). Other days he'll just sit on the South Main bus and laugh loudly at anything crossing his mind.

Another Blacksburg Transit observation...

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