Downtown Jacksonville on a Sunday Morning
Downtown Jacksonville on a Sunday Morning
There is a lot of electricity in use in downtown Jacksonville at 6’O clock in the morning near the Greyhound bus station. The sky is approaching dawn, and it is already muggy outside as I wait for my son’s bus from South Florida to bring him home.

Downtown Jacksonville is laid out on a grid, like many cities whose streets are named after dead Presidents like Jefferson, Adams and Monroe, and their mistresses Julia, Pearl and Ashley. The diesel engines of the idling buses purr gently in the background. I hear an occasional honk of a horn, squeaky brakes or a city bus rumble by. There is a beep, beep, beep, beep of announcements from the bus station’s PA system that is barely audible and certainly incomprehensible from inside the safety of my locked car.

The new courthouse is ablaze with fluorescent lighting and I wonder how much money that is adding per day to the grossly over-budget building still under contruction. Traffic signals continue to cycle through their reds, yellows and greens regardless of movement on the streets. I look around for a place to buy a cup of coffee, then realize I have no money with me when I check my purse; so there I remain, locked inside my car.

So far the only feet I have seen on the street belonged to the young men in the red jeep parked at the meter behind me. I glance over at the expired meter where I am parked and chuckle to myself, “no money for coffee and no change to feed the meter.”

Solar triggered lights on the streets turn off at the morning’s increased brightness and the city takes on a natural glow. My cell phone rings, interrupting the urban serenity and my son tells me his bus has finally taken an exit off of I95, only 30 minutes past its scheduled arrival, and he will be here soon. I tell him where I am parked.

A gentle breeze begins to stir the fronds, branches and leaves on the variety of decoratively placed trees as if to wake them up.

I hear the four beeps again and another inaudible announcement and I assume the female voice is announcing the arrival of my son’s bus. Otherwise, it is fairly quiet on the suprisingly clean streets in this area of downtown Jacksonville, near the Greyhound bus station at 6:30 on a Sunday morning.

I start the engine and see my son approach with two cups of coffee. I wonder if he has change for the meter? I suppose it no longer matters.

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