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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

It’s Like Capistrano Up in Here; or One of the First Signs of Spring


I’m on the 1:26 bus out of downtown Minneapolis, a much earlier bus than I normally take. 

And these are not my people. 

I sit, as I always do, near the back, just past the rear exit, behind the plexiglass but in good view of the fish-eyed camera lens.

Should anything untoward happen, I want it to be fully documented.

“It ain’t gonna be like last time.  You got to sleep and I had to stay up, keep you from running out naked.  Why you gotta run out naked all the time?”

My iPod is on, both earbuds in.  The volume is low.

I turn it off.

“Okay, okay,” a man says.  “Don’t get riled.”

I turn casually in my seat, make as if to adjust the yoga bag I am carrying.  There, on the bench seat that stretches across the back of the bus, is a couple.  Weathered, rough-looking, he is smiling at her in a “aww, honey” sort of way, revealing more gums than teeth. 

There is something about them that leads one to believe that they might steal the laundry off your clothes line. 

I turn back around, pull out the little book I carry in my purse for just such occasions. 

Click, my pen says.

“I’m just saying.”

“I heard you, I heard you.  But you got more than I did.”

There is silence.

“That’s ‘cause I earned it.”

“Shuddup!” the man says, “I don’t want to hear about it!”

“Well I’m gonna tell ya!”

“Shuddup!  I said I don’t want to hear about it!”

She cackles a bit, simmers down slowly.

There is silence.

“I could go for one, though,” he finally says.

“Oh, yeah,” she say.  “I could do one.”

“I could totally go for another one,” he says.

Ding!  Someone has pulled the cord, and the couple at the back of the bus walk by me and push at the rear exit door.

And off they go, in search of another one.  

34 comments:

Shelly said...

Didn't know anyone had overheard us...

sage said...

I miss riding buses! Now you will leave me pondering all morning pondering "it" :)

fmcgmccllc said...

I don't think my eyeballs could handle that conversation. Actually looking at the person who does "something naked" is not my idea of a fun bus ride.

Pearl said...

Shelly, that was you? :-) You need a moisturizer, honey.

Sage, I adore the bus. The best part is that everyone keeps moving, so it's weird, but it's not weird for long...

fmcgmccllc, :-) I didn't have to look at him long -- and his coat was such that I didn't have too much to go on regarding him naked... Sometimes just HEARING things is better than SEEING them...

vanilla said...

You have adventures even on the 1:26. I guess adventure just follows you around.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Makes you wonder if different bus routes have different "trending topics"...

jenny_o said...

Ohhhh, now, what could that "one" be, I wonder ... the obvious drugs of some kind? a bottle? a deli chicken? a pomegranate? a bit of embroidery? a haircut? movie? waxing? ...

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari Om
Ah yes, the education that is public transport. One can learn a great deal about life from one's fellow travellers...

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joeh said...

If you strap a helmet camera on it could be a new Reality TV hit.

"Bussing with Pearl"
or "Hear comes Busy Boo Boo!"

I just took the train, way more boring for some reason.

Eva Gallant said...

You write in a manner that makes us believe we are there with you!

Pearl said...

vanilla, I gotta admit that only one out of every 25 or so bus rides reveals anything more than, oh, nothing. :-) But when they do, one likes to report. :-)

Green Girl, what a lovely observation! Oh, yes, I would imagine so. For instance, I know that the express buses (run by companies other than the Metropolitan Transit Commission) forbid both "loud talking" and phone calls. No fun to be had there!

Yamini McLean, I agree with this wholeheartedly. As an aside, why can I never find your blog? Will you contact me?

joeh, the bus is absolutely "reality". :-) I've taken the light rail to the airport a number of times, but never really see anything on it...

Eva, such a lovely compliment! :-)

Pearl said...

jenny-O, now how did I miss you? Oh, I was pretty sure the "I could do one" referred to a powdered substance of some sort. :-)

River said...

How I wish you'd heard more!

Buttons said...

Drat just like those old movies I used to tape the tape ran out Drat:) B

Geo. said...

Pearl, I've especially valued your posts' power to cheer me over these unusually hectic past couple weeks. This was a good one. I could totally go for another one.

Daisy said...

You are amazing Pearl. And I'm careful not to ride the bus with you. A gal needs some secrets you know.

Daisy said...

I firmly believe that there are some things that I'm better off not knowing, and I believe this is one of those things. ;D Thanks for the smile, Pearl.

Brian Miller said...

thus why i love public transportation....it is very good to the muse and a-musing as well...ha...

Jackie said...

Your writing is amazing; I can't wait to see that you have posted another blog so that I can get here and read. I thank Jim (Sully) for the shout out for your writing. He is right. You have a great style...

Douglas said...

Any mention of who the next Pope might be? On the bus, I mean. Because, like the Dude, the bus is the font of wisdom and reality.

Joanne Noragon said...

It was a gentle early afternoon ride; an odd couple as ephemeral as powder in a pipe. Or however they take it. Those evening rides must be a lot more raucous, what with work day worries and all.

klahanie said...

Well ding, I read your latest bus posting and now I'm getting off at the next stop. Once I get off at the next stop, I shall catch or hop or whatever ever one does, onto the bus that takes me back to klahanie.

Goodbye Pearl...........

Sweet Posy Dreams said...

Hmmm. An interesting crowd.

Gigi said...

Hmmm...what could the elusive "IT" be that causes one to run about naked, while the other one stands guard?

Maybe we are all better off just not knowing.

Leenie said...

I don't agree with joeh. Camera shots and reality video would not be near as fun as Pearl's word pictures. We would miss out on lines like:

"There is something about them that leads one to believe that they might steal the laundry off your clothes line."

That's just bodacious blogging.

The Savage said...

I like toast...

bill lisleman said...

I wonder if 911 would have done anything with this info. Probably not. More important though - those clothes lines - wow that takes me back to a backyard running through sheets. I don't ever recall clothes being taken from clothes lines but then we didn't have the internet back then and no 7 by 24 news programs.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Well, at least they were only looking for "one"...

You sure hear some interesting conversations on the bus. Almost makes me miss my years of bus-riding. Almost.

Roshni AaMom said...

One what?!?!??! Now, you have to go on that bus again to find out the rest of the conversation!!

Rose L said...

Imaginations can go wild with that conversation.

Belle said...

Overhearing a conversation can be a lot of fun.

The Elephant's Child said...

Eavesdropping (on buses and elsewhere) is one of my joys. I have not (yet) started documenting the conversations I hear. Perhaps I should.
Another wonderful post - thank you.

Esther Montgomery said...

Seems to me you could live on buses and never be short of entertainment. Can't say the same where I live. Perhaps we should get you over to give passengers masterclasses in being bizarre.

Linda O'Connell said...

You pearl, could narrate a reality bus trip and people would tune in for your commentary, not just the passengers.