What’s with the bus stories?!
It is 6:40. I have had a successful day so far in that I have managed to dress myself, negotiate the flight of stairs to street level and walk to the bus stop without incident.
I beam inwardly.
Look at you, I think to myself. All up and at ’em on a Wednesday morning. You’re a good little taxpayer. Yes, you are! Yes you are a good little taxpayer!
I walk the four blocks to the bus stop. Ahead of me and already at the stop is a man I know by sight. I have attempted friendliness with him in the past and have failed. He is an angry person, and so I have decided to deprive him of my company.
That’ll teach him.
Just beyond him and coming toward me is a woman I am on a “mornin’” basis with.
“Mornin’,” we say to each other, smiling. We are dressed similarly: light gray skirts, silky tops in complementary shades of lilac, silver sandals.
“Nice outfit,” she says.
“You’re lookin’ pretty spiffy,” I say.
The bus arrives; and it is, as is usual at this time of day, close to empty.
I take a seat at the back of the bus, near the exit, where I put on my iPod and close my eyes.
There I am, moonlighting as replacement for Buddy Rich. As so often happens, by the end of the performance, I have garnered the admiration of a theater full of people. Why, Buddy himself approaches me at the end of the night, offering me champagne and the key to his hotel room, which I laughingly decline. My husband, Jeff Bridges, is not amused, however; and so we are just boarding the plane to our vacation home in Alaska when –
There is a change in the light in front of my closed eyes.
I open them.
Angry Man is standing in front of the rear exit door. He has pulled the cord – I can see that the “Stop Requested” light at the front of the bus is lit – but while the bus has slowed down to take the corner, it is apparent that he is not stopping.
“HEY!” Angry Man shouts, angrily. “Back DOOR. Back DOOR! You stupid !@#$!”
The bus driver slams on the brakes, and the green light over the back door lights up.
“THANKS for doing your JOB,” Angry Man says, pushing his way out. “Good JOB. What a GREAT START to my DAY. You’re lucky I don’t –“
And the door shuts.
I close my eyes and find myself back on the jetway with my husband Jeff Bridges.
“Nice outfit,” he says, smiling.
I smile back. “You look pretty spiffy yourself,” I say.