Coffee Rhetoric: Bus Tales
Showing posts with label Bus Tales. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bus Tales. Show all posts

April 05, 2007

A Bus Tale and Random other Gripe

Being a rider of public transportation there is one trend that I wish would end. It's usually (in my experiences) apparent in the early A.M., this trend. An obnoxious fetor that seeps right into the heart of one's olfactory nerve... finding a comfy little spot to nestle in for the duration of the morning, no matter how much you blow your nose to get rid of the stench, post ride. A fierce kind of musty B.O. ... dancing a fervid tango with stinking morning breath. The two smells mixing betwixt and between one another, finally creating a noxious parfum not likely to be bottled and sold in any fine department store or boutique. Is it so hard to brush your teeth, floss, gargle and scrape your tongue in the morning? More importantly, to soap up the ol' P.T.A. or D. ? (I'll let you figure out what P.T.A. and D represents). Soap and water, followed by some deodorant, never hurt anybody, well no bodies that I know of anyway. A mint, some Orbit, a spritz of binaca... it's all relative and these minute details tend to work a lot of the time. These smells can be distracting and can intercept your thoughts, particularly when someone pops a squat right next to you, breathing in your direction, burning the fine hairs in your nose and melting carefully applied gloss, no matter how far your turn your face away. *sigh* Since when did leaving your house, smelling like hot trash on a hot, humid summer morn, become all the rage?? Perhaps I didn't receive the memo or some coded language got lost in translation. Anyway, I went on a job interview today (at a law firm) and did not come away with a soothed soul. The interviewers were rather, well, rude. I had no idea who they were, because they never identified themselves. Neither of them shook my hand pre or post interrogation, they were dressed rather inappropriately, and they didn't strike me as being experienced in the interview department. I had my coat on during the whole ordeal, which I quickly brought to a close. I left it on purposely. Neither of them asked me to take it off nor did they offer me a place to hang it. The pay sucked, and is slightly less than I make now. They offer a 401K plan, major holidays off, and insurance coverage. That aside, they were basically wanting me to start STAT. One of the primary things that turned me off the most, was when one of the interviewers spoke ill of the person that left the position vacant. Saying she wasn't fast enough, and just did not "work up to par." Now correct me if I'm wrong, but I've been on enough interviews and to enough workshops of the like, to know that during an interview, you aren't supposed to trash your former place of employment, when asked why you left. I assume the same rule would apply those conducting the interview as well. According to this site You're supposed to put the candidate at ease, greet us warmly, introduce all members conducting the interview, and give the candidate time to think about the answers to questions you've asked us... those suggestions among a bunch of other, pertinent and professional ones. Needless to say, they were vague and brusque in their questions as well as to their answers to mine... basically wanting to know if I could "cut and paste" on the computer (who can't??) and if I work fast. Long story short, these unpleasant, twisted and mealy mouthed C.U.Next Tuesdays, wanted to hire a work horse to labor for chump change, who would keep her gob shut, not make eye contact, not develop any work rapport with colleagues, and to not ask too many questions about the tasks. I think I'm going to decline and resume my search.

February 10, 2007

Twilight Zone and an embarrassing Bus Tale

What a harrowing and stressful week it has been. I feel as if I've been living in the Twilight Zone! Firstly, I had to evacuate my apartment, due to an explosion (of the water heater) in the boiler room beneath the building in which I reside. I stayed with my deliriously fun and vocal family during this time. En route to my mother's house, to Bloomfield, as I hefted my heavy bag onto the bus, I fell in front of passengers. They fell silent. Luckily no one laughed... not to my knowledge anyway. I hopped up as if nothing happened (this is the best thing to do, in these embarrassing situations), hefted up my heavy roll along piece of luggage, and paid my $1.25 fare... as the bus driver gasped, clutched his chest, and asked,
"Ohmygod! Miss, are you okay!"
"Sure" I answered proudly, as I stuck my chest out, jutted my chin forward and strode to my seat... into which I shrunk down in embarrassment. I also discovered, after listening to a voicemail this past Friday, that I dropped my wallet. Fortunately for me, the woman who found it and left the message, was someone I recognized as a regular bus bus rider, from the A route. I didn't even KNOW I dropped it, until she called. I met her at her job, as per her directions, and she had it for me... suggested I check to make sure everything was there, and opined, "God is good!" I'm not a religious person, but the stars and goddesses were definitely working in my favor, considering this very decent person, was the one who happened upon my very personal belongings. As I sifted through my wallet's contents, I saw the same sad and crumpled dollar, still nestled in the billfold.
"I had to check your checkbook in order to get your phone number"
she said... I thanked her profusely, and told her I had a rough week, so the fact that she was the one who happened upon my wallet and called just made it a little better. Now I'm back and settled, but had to contend with uncomfortably cold living conditions. Due to these circumstances, I woke up with a bit of a sinus cold today. My head felt as if it weighed 100 pounds, as it pulsated and throbbed painfully. Saturday, as I sat at this very laptop, emailing in nothing more than a long, black sweater and panties, a pair of earphones strapped to my ears... as I jammed to some Amy Winehouse, I turned around to find four maintenance men making their way into my apartment! Needless to say, I was NOT pleased. In a very agitated voice, I asked them to leave! "Oh, I'm sorry. We need to check the heater" "Please leeave" I insisted, as I stayed glued to my seat, afraid to stand. "You want us to come back in ten minutes??" The super asked. "I want you all to leave!" I said, again. I mean, I'm sure I did not hear them knocking, due to the headphones I was wearing, but there's no way they didn't hear my tv blaring in the background before entering. Either way, they should've left STAT when they saw me sitting there sans pants! It was an embarrassing moment for all involved! Now I feel as if I can't really relax. I keep thinking 4 to 5 unsexy maintenance men, led by an overly zealous building superintendent, will burst into my apartment unannounced... so I've made sure to have pants on at all times since the incident. Now I'm warm, sated (in every respect), and somewhat relaxed. I'm just feeling as if I'm able to decompress and exhale... inhaling during intermittent moments, while I collect my thoughts, and stuff my gob with Mr. Chan's China Town Almond Cookies... washed down with Chardonnay. Don't ask. I found the cookies at the Dollar Tree a week or so ago and forgot I had them in my cupboard!

December 07, 2006

Bus Tales

Two evenings ago, I was on the Q bus, en route to my mother’s house. A full moon hovered overhead, bright… commanding in its presence. It struck a luminescent pose against the black backdrop, of a prematurely dark late afternoon sky. The bus was packed; quite busy and noisy. The conversations I heard around me, sounded like a cacophonous mash-up mixed by an inexperienced club DJ. Loud cell phone conversations and even more annoying, a screaming and petulant child at the back of the bus; whose pitch knew no bounds. Rather than console the child, madre insisted on yelling in an even shriller voice, “Callate! Callate!” contributing to the noise pollution. The child's screams became even more blood curdling, surrounding the entire bus with an unrelenting assault!Grinding my teeth, my eyes fluttering, because I was thinking “REDRUM, REDRUM” I looked up at a sign above my head that read: VIOLENCE ON THE CT TRANSIT BUS IS A FEDERAL CRIME. I read that sign a couple of times. It soothed my soul in a way I cannot describe.

More interesting was the conversation I heard between two female passengers, sitting at my immediate left. They both popped and snapped their gum at a feverish pace, in-between anecdotes, making juicy sounds with their mouths. They were sitting too close, so I didn’t dare turn to look. So close in fact, I caught wafts of bubble gum air. The unwritten laws of public transportation dictates that everyone should stare straight ahead and mind his/her own business, don’t make eye contact, and don’t sit too-too close for comfort. Anyway, the conversation went as follows.

Braggartly woman 1: “… Yeah, my mother is giving me a nice purse, and my brother is taking me on a $200.00 shopping spree at an outlet mall.”

My thoughts: “Um, sweety, 200 dollars does not a spree make.”

Braggartly: “Yeah, and my mother is buying me this purse and giving me a $100 dollars, from Wal-mart.”

My thoughts: “Yeah, as if there’s a purse being sold at Wal-mart, for that much…”

At this point, I checked out of the conversation. In fact, I checked out of all the goings-on around me, desperately willing the driver to go faster, so I can get off and onto my destination, but then Braggartly and her seat mate engaged in some interesting fodder, piquing my interest.

Braggartly’s seat mate: “… yeah, she controls everything. She had a monopoly on the TV, telling us when we can and can’t watch it. Who does she think she is??”

Braggartly: “She and I had some words, because she tried to tell me that I needed to take my medicine! I haven’t been taking my medicine for a while, and I feel fine! I mean, sure I have mood swings, but no more or no less than anybody else! Only I know how I feel, and nobody else can tell me how I feel! I don’t have to take my medicine if I don’t want to!”

My thoughts: “Lady, dear darklord, take your medicine!”

I simply had to turn and see this woman! But I couldn’t bring myself to do so… not to mention she was un-medicated, and probably close to the edge. Finally she and her seat mate got off in front of a mental health facility. I could hear Celie's voice from the movie The Color Purple narrating, "Her eyes, I gotta see her eyes!" so I seized the opportunity to leer when they got off the bus, but alas, their faces were shrouded with a hat and hood, respectively and pulled down low over their eyes, protected against the cold. I sighed, frustrated. It always amazes me how people with mental health issues, wean themselves off of their anti-psychotics. It’s ‘right scary, really. Essentially, is it their choice, do they have the right to make that decision? I don’t know, but I do know that bus rides for me, are hardly ever boring.

P.S. As I'm relaying this story, a commercial for Cymbalta is playing in the background. Oh the irony!

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.

October 04, 2005

Butch Kassidy Rides Again

I was fired up and ready to post an entry, lambasting unsightly back acne- (after standing behind a young woman with a boat-neck top on, Monday afternoon at the crosswalk)- and the importance of exfoliation.

 But recent events (as recently as Tuesday morning)- have prompted me to veer off-course and share with you all, my dear and few readers, that I fear for my life. I feel that I may even need to apply for the Witness Protection Program in hopes of being whisked away to some undisclosed location, where I can ride the bus in relative obscurity and peace. 
Moreover, I should consider fuglying myself up, and not put forth any effort toward my vanity. 

Yes, perhaps I should board the bus smelling like a a Florida swamp, so as to offend and stave off unwanted attention. To hell with the hypnotically spicy perfume oils, the body butters, and the Dove deodorant I love to use. Shall I simply toss out the jasmine scented Tahitian Monoi body oil I apply immediately, after showering? Desperate situations call for desperate measures. I need to deflect. 

Why so desperate to be a filthy minger? Why do I feel the need to, with haste, get out of dodge? Because after 2 1/2 weeks of relative calm after my awkward discussion about my whether or not I'm "femme", Butch Kassidy rides again (insert sinister Michael Myers themed 'Halloween' music here). So there I sat Tuesday morning, in the hot-seat once again. Let me walk you through it…

 I nonchalantly boarded the bus Tuesday morning. Upon stepping up the few steps and depositing my bus card in the designated slot, I saw that it was more crowded than usual. For some reason I started to feel uneasy. Ignoring my intuition, I stared straight ahead and headed for a seat quickly, before the bus lurched forward, not wanting to fall flat on my face in a puddle of hot coffee. 

As I proceeded down the aisle, I heard a gravelly and demanding female voice ask, "WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN??!" 

I looked to my immediate right, and there, sitting right up front near the driver, was B.K. (
queue that 'Halloween' music). The corners of my mouth started to twist in a grimace and I headed for a seat several people down from her. There she sat… in all her studly, 'I'll beat your ass'-looking glory. Boisterous, loud, and demanding to know my whereabouts and other matters of the like. I accepted my fate and dryly answered across a man wearing a tie-dyed tee, "I've been riding this bus to work, that's where I've been."

"NO you haven't! I didn't see you on here!"
she barked.

"Um, yes I have MISS."
B.K.'s raucous inquiry was relentless. At this point, I took a second to scan the surrounding faces of the other passengers. Some looked on with amusement. Smirks dancing at the corners of their mouths... knowingly. Particularly a couple of the women.
and then to the bus driver for validation, "
Has she been on this bus all last week"

Yup." He said dispassionately, focusing on the road.

Dismayed, B.K. said,
"Man, you don't know whatchu talkin' about!! She HASN'T been on here. Remember when I asked you whether or not you've seen that young black girl, you said, NO!" she claimed.

Suddenly interested, the driver turned slightly and answered,
"I never said that. She's been riding the bus the usual time, everyday. You're the one who's been M.I.A. for two weeks."

"Aw, you just tryin' to take her side!"
she shot back.

So, apparently, my alleged absence from riding the 8:25
A2 caused a brief dispute between B.K. and the driver. Giving up on him, she turned to me once more and started interrogating me about what I did over the weekend and such. Mostly, I just stared blankly at her behind a mask of large, dark shades. 
Then she insisted on knowing where I lived. "Down there," I waved elusively behind my shoulder.

"Where?" She demanded to know. "Down here" I said, referring to the general downtown area as the bus pulled away from where I'd boarded. "You live in one of them high rises?" she asked, pressing for more.
Nope" I said. "Well," she concluded, "it must be nice if it's downtown. I should come visit you."
alarmed I answered dryly, "It's alright." I made sure to sound as discouraging as possible. So I didn't tell her how much I loved where I lived or how great the apartments are on that particular end of the downtown area. No need trying to invite unwanted company the one place I find sanctuary.

Giving up on getting my exact address, B.K. tried another maneuver...

"You live with your friend?"

"What friend" I asked impatiently. "I live with myself" I added, not waiting for her to elaborate on her question.
"Hey, you workin' at that museum today? I'm comin' to see you!" she insisted. "I ain't got nothin' to do today, so I got time to go to the museum and look around. I only live right up the street from where you work."
I scowled a little behind my shades. I was growing concerned.

"What's a good time to come?"
she pressed.
"2 PM"
I answered without hesitation. Knowing full-well that I had a 1:30 PM departmental meeting.
The department head was scheduled to give a Power Point presentation on upcoming exhibits. That was bound to last until 3:30 at least… which would leave me with :45 minutes left to my day. If she planned on showing up, like she'd threatened, I wouldn't be there to greet her or the gold toof I spied in her mouth. I felt triumphant.

Just then, two lithe Somali women
 swathed in colorful, flowing fabric and flip-flops, floated onto the bus with two small children. They sat across from us and began talking to one another in their native language. They seemed to hold B.K's curiosity for a bit, as she stared across at them with her mouth agape. 'Thank goodness' I thought, thankful for the brief reprieve from her hawkish grilling.

Suddenly, B.K. made some weird, random comment (
to no one in particular) about someone dying from AIDS and catching it in their feet… still staring across at the two women.

OOOOOKaaaay, pushy and not playing with a full deck' I opined to myself. The women didn't seem to understand or care about her comments and continued on with their discussion, not missing a beat and disregarding B.K. entirely. Finally, B.K. turned back to me and suggested that we needed to hangout. I merely stared at her, like I did the short Puerto Rican man on Sunday, who asked me if I spoke any English before relaying to me that he was from NYC and just released from prison as he thrust a thick pile of release papers for me to view. (that's a whole other story). 

B.K. reiterated her proposition once more. And again, not a word came from my lips. I didn't want to exacerbate matters or give her the false hope of a hot, illicit lesbian affair.
"I'm live in Bridgeport
. I ain't from here. I don't know nobody here, but him." She said, nodding toward the bus driver. "And he's a tramp. So I don't know where to hang out at. I go to work and I go home. That's it." She lamented.

After some thought, I said, "
Then hangout solo. I do all the time."

With that, her stop came up. As she got up to descend the few stairs, she turned to me once more and suggested that I should come and visit her. I shrugged at her. As the bus pulled away from Butch Kassidy, I slid over to assume her vacated seat.

She's different" the bus driver offered. "She doesn't know whether she's coming or going. She can't even remember what days she rides the bus. Don't go hanging with her in Bridgeport. She'll get you shot" he advised. "She's been shot before, in the leg. Besides, there's nothing to do in Bridgeport." '

"I wasn't planning on hanging with her in Bridgeport or any place else for that matter." I said with a smirk as I stood up to signal my upcoming stop. He smirked back, we exchanged pleasantries, and I departed and headed across the street towards work. This is just getting downright strange and undesirable. 

Today, I played the 'overslept' card and took a later bus, but I can't do this everyday. Look, I have no immediate plans to become someone's glorified pillow queen and I've seen Chained Heat enough times to know that a relationship with B.K. just wouldn't work out.

September 14, 2005

...because 2 Fridays ago, while I was at BestBuy purchasing some batteries, and a new pair of headphones, the cashier named Antoine asked, if I would ever, "consider dating a younger man." The bitter woman (me) in the oversized shades stared through him, incredulously, in midsign of my receipt. Pen hovering above the signature line. "Are you serious, man??" I asked. "Do you usually solicit women standing in line??" Antoine shook his head. After some thought, lil brother had the unmitigated gall to say, "I've dated women older than you." At once, curious as to how much older and feeling somewhat insulted, I retorted, "Oh yeah, how much older?" "33" says Antoine. "Hm, how'd that work out for you, um, Antoine??" I said, sarcastically, as I leaned over slightly to read his name tag. "It went good, but unfortunately, she moved away" Antoine answered back, matter-of-factly "Man, you don't even know how old I am!" I spat at him... conscious of the line accumulating behind me. A curt shrug, and then Antoine said, " Anyway, give it a try, if it doesn't work out, we can call it off" he opined. At that, I reached across the counter, gently but firmly snatched my purchases out of his hand, mumbled, "have a nice day" and stomped out of the store. Oh, but it gets better, my dear readers, because only in the land of Coffey0072, do these things happen. Hm, let's see, I was on the bus this past Tuesday, riding with the usual suspects. Butch Kassidy (B.K. = >a very dikey lesbo? who rides my bus most mornings) chatted with me, like she has taken to doing recently, about this and that. She of dreadlocks and rough and tumble demeanor. I think I mentioned her briefly in an earlier post, entitled, Bus Tales, anyway, B.K. asked me how my birthday went, since she hadn't been on the bus for about 2 weeks. I told her it was quiet, but productive. I mentioned to her that a trip to Provincetown had been postponed and that about a week 1/2 ago, after my birthday had passed, my best friend Cat, came up to visit. "Why don't she just move up here to be with you?" remarks B.K. Confused, I said, "Um, why would she?" "Is she your friend-friend, or your um, friiieeend?" asked B.K. wryly. "NO," I remarked quickly, "She's my best friend, like from college." "Oh. Is she femme like you?" asked a curious B.K. "Huh?" I answered, flummoxed, because you see, I don't speak Lesbianese, so these terms get lost on me. "Femme" she said, repeatedly, almost confused as to why I didn't speak her language fluently. "Um, you mean like girly?" I asked, starting to wriggle uncomfortably in my seat as she sat in front of me, turned around in her seat, eyeing me intently now. "Yeah" says she, matter-of-factly. "Um, yeah, I um, guess" says I. "You ever been to Provincetown before?" she asked me. "No, but my friend has. She says it's great. Have you?" B.K. nods. "You see, we're fond of the gays." I said diplomatically. I didn't feel comfortable remarking loudly on the bus that Cat and I were fledgling fag-hags. "I KNEW IT!" she exclaimed. "Provincetown is great! You'll love it!" Now at this point, I don't know how B.K. had absorbed what I'd just told her, over the bus' loud engine and whirring air-conditioner... but I have a feeling she heard "out gays" or something along those lines, for she became a tad too excited, for my taste.. saying how we should, "hang out." At that point, she started ticking off a long list of what I suspected to be alternative hotspots- (Gotham City? C'mon. Sounds like a place where women meet women to me.)- asking me if I'd been. "No.... no... no..." I answered down the list. "You don't go out, do you?" asked B.K. "Um, yeah, but to certain places", I answered carefully. With that, B.K. departed, lamenting about never having enough time to chat with me accordingly. Later on, I called Cat, and asked her if lesbians also vacayed in Provincetown. "Yes" she said, "and they wear jeans that make their booties look flat." This she relayed to me after laughing about my possibly getting cruised by B.K. sigh... 28 is getting weirder and weirder. I wont even relay how another lil bro tried to pick me up at the supermercado as I tried to buy a lb. of Wild Atlantic Salmon. Needless to say, Monday's bus ride ought to be quite interesting. (insert Twilight Zone theme here) fade to black...

May 18, 2005

Bus Tales

I take the bus to work- (and everywhere else)- every morning. If I can't walk or cab it, that's my alternative mode of travel. Usually, the bus I take to work (A2)- has the same passengers going to their respective destinations. As a quiet observer, I find a number of things fascinating amongst the amalgam of travelers who ride with me every morning. One being the relationships/casual friendships..."bus friendships" if you will... that people establish with one another. The other fascinating element to riding the bus is how I am able to piece together the details of some of these people's lives just from listening to random snippets of conversation. There are the Polish ladies who gossip frenetically about this and that. Although I can't understand a damn thing they're saying, I know it's juicy gossip, due to the way they punctuate their conversations with crazy hand gestures; There are some of the magnet school students who sit in the back, talking loudly... carrying on several different conversations with one another, fighting to be heard over each other; There is the fair-skinned, middle-aged Black woman (I don't know her name) but for the past year 1/2 she has spoken to me every morning. She seems to be privy to everyone's background; There is this toothless older Black woman who sits there gumming for dear life as she reads the paper quietly; there are the ARC (Association for Retarded Citizens) adults/students who ride the A2 every morning, clutching their lunch bags and talking animatedly amongst each other; Finally, there is this rough and tumble looking brown skinned woman with cinnamon streaked dreadlocks who loves to say, "they're blessed" when referring to children, the ARC group, and such. Sometimes the ARC clique forget to ring the bell, but the bus driver always knows to let them off at the stop in front of the big, brick ARC building. Everyday, these passengers expound on minute, yet significant details about their lives. By week's end, I can determine what their stories or problems are. I'm saying in my mind, "ohh, I get it now." It's almost like watching an episode to a live TV series. You miss a couple of day's worth and you feel lost... until eventually, the characters reveal those two or three key details you need, to fully grasp the situation. The ARC clique's main character is this bespectacled man who usually sits there quietly smirking to himself or flicking his finger in and out in front of him as a source of amusement. Usually when one of his comrades- (usually this man who talks about sketching profiles from some art book or this set of identical twins who talk about wrestling)- is conversing with him, he simply repeats everything back to them. I actually was unaware that he even said anything beyond repetitive speak, until this morning... apparently so did a couple of other passengers were unaware as well... As the ARC crew descended the steps of the bus, Dreadlocks said, "Bye, see ya'll lata!" Finger Flicker responded, "Bye, have a nice day!" and made off down the stairs. A pleasantly surprised Dreadlocks turned to the fairskinned Black woman, who was seated next to her, and said, "I didn't even know he could speak!" Fairskinned turned to her and said, "Oh yeaahhh. They can do a lot of things." Being privy to some of these people's stories, she proceeded to tell Dreadlocks what town Finger Flicker was from and all. "Do you think he dresses hisself?" Dreads asked her. "Oh, if he can take the bus by himself every mornin' and get off at his stop, I'm sure he can. I see him waiting just over there on Woodland Street in the afternoons, waiting for the bus to go home." Fairskinned responded, as she pointed to said area. Dreads nodded her approval as she looked off out the window, muttering, "Yu-up. They're blessed." Just then, Fairskinned asked Dreads, "How's that doin?" as she nodded towards what I was figuring to be her leg. Dreads launched into a story about how she got into an argument about "it" with her mother, because she doesn't want to "go in to have it done" because it'd be an inconvenience to her and her busy life and how it wasn't bothering her bad enough at this point. Fairskinned said, "So if it's not broke, then don't fix it, eh?" Dreads replied, "Yup. Your body lets you know when you need to go. It's fine now. Well see you tomorrow" and she got off at her stop. I missed the 8:25 bus Monday morning and was late to work, so I missed the crucial part of this particular story. By the time my stop came up, however, I was able to determine that they were talking about Dread's leg. There are so many interesting characters who ride the bus in general. The other day, some young dude got on with his mother and sister whilst some other guy (I didn't turn to look at him) exclaimed, "DAAAAAAAAAAG, you look OLD yo'! Did you just get out! HAHAHAHA you look OLD!! You looked OLD when you were like 18!!! HAHAHAHAHA!" The guy got up from the front where he was sitting and sauntered to the back, to speak to his mocking acquaintance. Needless to say the whole ride, the guy lectured and made fun of him... telling him how he needs to find a job, because he was a "lousy hustler" and how he'd go right back in, until finally Young-Old told him to "yo' shut up yo' Don't be giving me no lecture! Shit" I'm an avid people watcher, so taking the bus is somewhat of a fun and interesting.. and at times harrowing experience for me. Regardless of how bizarro, annoying, rude, obnoxious or friendly the passengers are, I always get off knowing their individual stories.... Then I get to exploit them in stories, on this blog, and beyond (tee hee.)