I’ve developed a craving for one of those accordion buses. They’re almost twice as long as a regular bus – that’s gotta be twice as satisfying, right?
The urge for a bigger bus came the morning of the first.
That’s yesterday, if you’re keeping score at home.
The first of the month is a very special time in many people’s lives. There’s money, after all, on the first, if only for a few minutes. In my experience those minutes come between receiving a check for a job well done (or the check you receive before they catch on to the fact that you’re not much of a worker, or the check you receive from the government) and writing another check (or five) for rent, utilities, books, beer, and other must-have items.
Which brings us to the bus.
The dead bolt to my front door refused to lock Monday morning for reasons it did not disclose. It took forty-five minutes of sweating, swearing, and seriously considering calling in to work “disgusted” before the door was locked.
And I had dramatically missed my usual bus.
You know, you think you know a bus after riding it for six years. You think you know the drivers, the faces of your fellow commuters. Generally speaking, the people on the 7:15 are all going to work.
The folks on the 9:00 did not have the look of work about them.
My fellow riders were loud and unconfined by societal expectations. Speculation as to where they were headed dressed in pajama bottoms and sleep in their eyes we shall leave to the professionals.
Normally, I’m a firm believer in listening in on other people’s conversations, particularly if avoiding them means turning up my iPod to levels likely to induce ear-bleed. The normal commuters do not spend a lot of time on the phone, preferring to stare blankly out the window, so my listening in on the myriad calls going on at one time promised to be a treat. They were, however, not a treat, and the following conversation is actually a conglomeration of the five or six cell phone conversations that went on around me.
To get the full effect, it’s best delivered at the top of your lungs.
“Where you at? HUH? Where you at?”
As a quick aside, the phrase “where you at” is the quickest way for me to stop paying attention, but I persevered.
“Nah, nah. I be downtown in 20. Who? Wha’? Girl I can’t hear you! Speak up!”
There was a brief pause while the girl spoke up.
“What? No, he trippin’. Him and Trina/Ray-Ray/Boo/Mary Elizabeth be out at the clubs and I KNOW he ain’t tryin’ to tell me he ain’t! I’m gonna take care of my own, you hear what I’m sayin’? I’m gonna get PAID and he the one gonna pay me.”
I lost consciousness momentarily while these sentences were repeated in varying permutations.
“She best watch her back, that’s all I’m saying. What? No, he don’t. NO HE DON’T! Hold on a sec, I got another call.”
She then went on to answer her other line and spent the next several minutes bringing the new person up to date.
I thought it would get interesting at some point, but it didn’t. After all, there may have been reasons around all those stained, baggy pajama bottoms. There may have even been reasons behind the wild hair, the just-rolled-out-of-bed-and-into-boots look.
But she didn’t go into any of that.
I’m telling you. She either coughs up the “why’s” of the situation, or I’m putting in for a bigger bus.
I’m getting satisfaction one way or the other.
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