I've been included in a Minnesota anthology "Under Purple Skies", now available on Amazon!

My second chapbook, "The Second Book of Pearl: The Cats" is now available as either a paper chapbook or as a downloadable item. See below for the Pay Pal link or click on its cover just to the right of the newest blog post to download to your Kindle, iPad, or Nook. Just $3.99 for inspired tales of gin, gambling addiction and inter-feline betrayal.

My first chapbook, I Was Raised to be A Lert is in its third printing and is available both via the PayPal link below and on smashwords! Order one? Download one? It's all for you, baby!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

When You Buys You One, You Gets You Two; or Public Transportation, AKA The Cheap Seats

6:42 a.m.:  the heat wave in our immediate future, the one that will have me standing tomorrow at the bus stop, like a rich person, in 44 glorious degrees of early Spring-time thrall, is no where in sight.

It is a Thursday morning, cold and dark. 

The bus arrives, and I climb its steps.  I wave my MetroPass at the doohickey and walk to my seat of preference, a spot up the steps at the back of the bus, near the camera.  I like to think that should anything untoward happen while engaged in commuting, it will be caught on tape and either a.) result in a conviction, b.) be shown on TV, or c.) lead to my finally being discovered as a runway model.

We are 15 minutes into the trip downtown when the men at the back of the bus get excited.

“Come on, man.  Come On.  Come ON.  COME ON.”

My eyes swing to the right, to the left, spin counterclockwise before returning to their straight-ahead position. 

It’s been a long time since the morning commute was this lively.  I lean back in my seat, reach into my purse, pull out the book I keep for just such occasions.  I switch my low-volume iPod to “off”.

“Aww, COME on, man!”

Another man laughs softly.  “Shush, man.  Call him later.  Anyway, you be shoutin’. These good people goin’ to work, they don’t want to hear you.”

I am dying to turn around.

“Man, I don’t talk like no mouse, man,” says COME ON man.  A combination of urban mush-mouth and side show barker, he’s got a baritone voice.  “People hear me talk, they know they be getting’ the juicy-juice.”

“Well just keep it down, Mr. Juice, that’s all’m sayin’.  Me and Earnest, we got you, right up front.  Know that, man.  Just know that.”

“Oh, we be right upfront, all of us.  We got the earnest, and we got the frank.  Man, we be earnestly frank.”

“Man, I said you gotta be quiet.”

“You know, last week he be talking about gettin’ enough for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday?  It be Monday now.  That’s why that man don’t be answering the phone.  Come on, now!  That man be detoxing.”

Both men laugh, full, open expressions of enjoyment.  Heh, heh, heh. You right, you right.    

The bus goes relatively silent, save for the coughing woman near the driver.  We creep along the Nicollet Avenue mall, all-year cyclists scattering before us like skinny, helmeted cattle.  I look out the windows at the storefronts, windows dressed, mannequins in swimwear and summer dresses.

“MMM,” grunts the COME ON man.  “You know about that Joseph E. Banks?  They be having buy you one, get you two.”

“Man, they got good clothes,” says the other man.  “Good clothes.”

“Mm mm mmm,” the man with the juicy-juice says. “You know what?  Maybe we find us Earnest, we do some shoppin’.” 


vanilla said...

I relate to the part where I would have to find Earnest if Ima go shoppin'.

Most near like I was right there on the bus with you.;

Shelly said...

I think Earnestness at the table next to us yesterday in the restaurant. He had enough for all 7 days in the coming week as well as all even numbered years in the coming century. He loudly repeated, "It's going down like Freakytown!" If we see him again, I'll point him north.

Shelly said...

I hate autocorrect. *Earnest was...

Anonymous said...

I haven't been on a bus in sooo long....look what I'm missing.
Don't you feel for those poor mannequins freezing their swim suited tushies off in the store windows. nah...me neither

ThreeOldKeys said...

Can I just leave a smiley face for a comment? Sometimes I can only grin and admire.

Maybe this:

Connie said...

I think maybe I'm better off if I don't get the "juicy-juice." Nice slice of life on the bus, Pearl. Makes me glad I work from home. :)

Glen said...

This is what headphones are best at - pretending to be in use while listening in on the mad folk - love it!

Silliyak said...

Undoubtably just finished reading "The importance of being Ernest"

Joanne Noragon said...

I sat in a doctor's office once listening to a man on his phone trying to score Oxycontin. Then he went to the window and tried to have his prescription redone for the current date, not next week. It was all smooth and practiced jargon and I thought of you and wished I had your little notebook.

joeh said...

You know I always love your stuff, I particularly liked

"We creep along the Nicollet Avenue mall, all-year cyclists scattering before us like skinny, helmeted cattle."

Great visual!

Leenie said...

I totally agree with joeh. Your view of the world and the way you write is so refreshing. Plus, I appreciate your translation of the bus conversation. My Rocky Mountain ears hear that dialect and just say "wwwwhaaaat arrr those dudes talkin' bout?"

Dawn@Lighten Up! said...

They be right, you know. Nothin be better than a "Buy You One, Get You Two" sale.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Well you certainly got you two for the price of that one ride! Which means we got the complete deal... YAM xx

jenny_o said...

You have such a good ear for others' speech, Pearl, AND the ability to put it into words that make us hear it, too. I could listen to it all day.

sage said...

It is amazing the stories you can overhear... Thanks for taking us along on your morning commute.

Elephant's Child said...

I do love sharing your eaves-dropping.
Thank you. Again.

Pearl said...

OH. MY. Love the comments!

"It's going down like Freakytown!"

I will use this, and soon. Mark my words. :-)

Silliyak said...

Thought you might "enjoy" this. http://abc7news.com/traffic/leap-luxury-buses-launch-in-sf/563497/

Watson said...

Pearl, your posts never fail to amaze and amuse me. You got the talent, girl! Thanks for sharing it with us.

River said...

Love the cyclists scattering. Out here they stay put and the bus slows to creep along behind them. Always when I'm in a hurry too. Meh, what can you do?
44 degrees eh? I bet that snow is all melted now too.