You know, I’ve been riding the bus on a regular basis – and every now and then on an irregular basis, if ya know what I mean – for almost eight years now. In that time, I’ve fallen down in it, witnessed an indecent exposure, watched the young and the young-at-heart make jackasses out of themselves with nothing but their questionable wits and a pair of headphones. I’ve listened in on whole conversations made up of the words “mah dawg!”, “thazz righ’, thazz righ’” and “what? what you say?!”
But it was yesterday’s ride that opened my eyes.
And now that they’re open…
Here. Sit here, next to me. See how you can look into the cars next to us, look down into them?
Yesterday, I was a passenger on a bus that passed my cat.
She was driving my car.
And here’s the kicker: she didn’t have my permission.
You’ve met Liza Bean Bitey (of the Minneapolis Biteys), haven’t you? Tiny cat about this big, perky little ears? Has been writing “the good shrimp” on every grocery list I’ve ever made?
That’s the one.
Just look at them! The car is full of cats! The full contingent of Squeak Toy is in the car – and so are their instruments. Stumpy “Lucky” Strykes sits atop the drums he’s piled up in the back seat, Ignatz D. Katz is lying atop the upright bass that is just as much outside the car as it is inside, and that big cat, the one with the long hair and the yellow eyes – Hairball, they call him – is in the front passenger seat, cradling an electric keyboard in his arms like a baby.
They are laughing, talking, smoking, in my car! Smoking! I stare down, incredulous, as Hairball kisses his piano with more ardor than I like to see during an afternoon commute, and it is at this point that Liza Bean happens to look over…
And look away! I watch as she casually takes another drag off her cigarette and then drop it out the driver’s window. I watch as she looks into her rearview mirror, speaks to the backseat passengers, her little black lips moving almost imperceptibly...
The light changes, and the Honda speeds away.
If you need me, I’ll be at Indeed with Kathy, drinking, snacking, and wondering if I need to up the insurance on the car…