Coffee Rhetoric: Bus Tales

November 04, 2006

Bus Tales

I've been feeling really combative lately. Not just verbally and mentally, but feeling ready to just ring the alarm and throw down, with clinched fists at the ready. As our current climate grows increasingly more volatile and people have no qualms about violating the personal space of others or being discourteous, I've started to feel tense when I am milling about with the rest of the general populace. Perhaps I'm just too cognizant of my surroundings, for my own good, as I can be extremely intense... I honestly don't know, but sometimes I'm drawn as taut as your standard Hollywood actress' face, and that's not good for my psyche or my health. For instance, this morning I was waiting for the bus, en route to work, and this middle-aged woman was standing by one of the many publication racks, that clutter the curbs of downtown Hartford, CT. She seemed to be sobbing aloud, in a gritty voice, drunken-like. The more she ranted, the wider the space became between she and I, because she seemed very agitated, and it was making me nervous, being in close proximity to her. I wasn't sure if this was the mad prattling of a woman under the influence of crazy juices and berries, or if she was suffering from a mental illness and chose not to take her medicine... perhaps it was both. Either way, I started to feel uncomfortable. When the bus finally pulled up, unfortunately The Mad Woman boarded right behind me. I took a seat right up front, a couple of feet away from the driver. As I squatted to sit, the bus suddenly jerked forward and my ample behind hit the seat harder than I intended it to. I made sure to say, "excuse me" to the young lady I sat next to, even though my oversized tote bag or elbow didn't make contact with her at all. Despite my crude language, my manners are impeccable. Anyway, The Mad Woman sat directory across from me, ranting...
"I took down your description, and wrote down all the facts! You wont get the best of me! I'm turning the information over to the government!" And she ranted... "... filthy pieces of scum! They aren't going to put one over on me!" ... and she ranted... "West Hartford, now thaaat's where my countryside is. And Suffield, and Avon..."
I was careful not to make eye contact with the loon, but when I turned to my immediate right, the young woman was staring at me hardcore, mean-mugging in my face, muttering some sort of complaint about me, under her breath, for whatever reason. I felt a little bewildered and flustered, as I glared back at her quizzically from behind my ever-present mask of large, dark shades. She gave me a once over and sneered at me. I kept a safe distance away from her, so I couldn't've been sitting too close for comfort. I wasn't touching her, I didn't bump her, I was polite to her when I took a seat next to her, asking her to excuse me. Finally my bewilderment turned to annoyance as I returned, my own venemous bitch-glare... taking in her wild, shock of bushy, orange hair and questionable ensemble... "Um, what happened? Do you have some sort of PROBLEM?? Clearly you DON'T since I didn't do anything to you!" She continued to stare at me... chagrined and annoyed. "Umm helloooo!" I said, keeping my voice level, with just the proper amount of snot. "Do. you. have. a. pro-blem?" I challenged her, my agitation growing. Accepting defeat, she responded with an eye-roll and sucked her teeth. "Yup, that's exactly what I thought." I muttered to her. I felt triumphant. I felt like jumping up and shadow boxing with an invisible apponent, in the middle of the bus. Hyper-exaggerated sass in full effect, I was primed. Bitch decided to divert her agitation to the ranting lunatic, sitting across from us and finally pulled the lever to signal her stop, about 60 seconds later. GOOD. The way I've been feeling lately, I highly doubted she wanted any of this, for I was ready to adjust me pimp-rings. Seriously. I've been having to deal with some shiesty 'tudes and personalities lately. And I've reached the end of my rope. I'm a woman on the verge... A woman and her small child followed behind Ms. Attitude, and lunatic stopped her rant long enough to yell, "See you later sweetheart!" to the young child. The mother placed a protective hand on the child's shoulder as she guided him off the bus at a brisk clip. The disintegration of human-kind is in full effect! *sigh* Public transportation, though... you gotta love it.