just a lil story...
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...I smoke and I drink, and everytime I blink, I have a tiny dream...
head is full this morning. I was dozing on Muni on the way to work and woke up when I realized we were in a dead standstill in the middle of McAllister right past Fillmore. I stopped my Discman and listened to the comments made by other passengers to figure out what was going on.
Apparently some guy tried to get in the back door of a full bus and when he couldn't get in, got mad and yanked one of the conducters down. When the bus driver decided to go out and fix the problem someone in the relatively quiet bus told him he was going to get shot.
A sassy older black woman in front of me laughed. She was even wearing a sassy hat with a wide brim, like she was going to Sunday church.
"He ain't gonna get shot," she said. "He's Mexican."
"Actually I'm from Iran," the bus driver said before he disappeared through the front doors.
"Whatever," the lady continued. "He won't get shot cause he ain't white."
More random comments came from behind me about simply "getting out of the neighborhood". I immeadiately thought, "How'd we find ourselves in Compton?" I didn’t quite find McAllister between Fillmore & Webster on the same par.
My 7AM commute to work on the 5 is usually quiet and full of people heading downtown to go to work. One of the usuals I see in the morning, bright yellow slicker, shiny bald head, grumbled about being late. He has that perpetual scowl, like his face froze that way, whether or not he was late for work. He was standing next to me and reeked of Drakkar Noir. He gets on at my stop and usually pushes his pudgy little self through the doors before old ladies with canes. I always think of how he wasn’t loved enough as a child to be this miserable. It made me want to buy him an ice cream cone or something.
Someone heard him though, and felt the need to let him know they heard him.
"Shut up! You think you're the only one with somewhere to go?"
Yellow slicker, shiny bald man struggled to turn around and in the process slammed his duffle bag smack dab into my face.
“My eye!” I said. More so to be funny and ease the tension, but it didn’t work
It wasn't even 8AM yet and the world was ugly and getting uglier by the minute.
"I'm going to a job, son." He replied. "You know, I'm sorry you're gonna be late meeting your crack dealer."
The sassy black woman in front of me looked up in disbelief.
"Oooooohhh, that ain't right," she told me then looked up at baldy. "That ain't right! You think cause he’s black he smokes crack.?”
My brow creased with concern. The action was in my immediate space. And just as I looked up, baldy turned around, his bag, this time, smacking me in the back of my head.
"Excuse me," I said rather loudly. He briefly glanced down at me but then turned his attention to the lady in front of me.
"Mind your own business," he said to her. Just as she was about to reply, the Iranian bus driver climbed back into the bus. He started to drive away as he picked up his radio to report the incident, but apparently we weren’t going fast enough for some people.
“C’mon!” A woman’s voice carried from the back to the front of the bus where I was. “Let’s just get out of here!”
“You know what’s funny?” I told the black lady in front of me. Somehow, standing in solidarity against yellow slicker, bald head for 3 minutes had made us co-conspiritors on the bus.
”What’s that, girl?” She asked and leaned in close.
“There’s a police station on Fillmore and Golden Gate and she’s freaked out,” I said.
“Well, you know, they’re never there when you need ‘em. Lord knows that.”
“That is true,” I replied after some thought. “They’re only there when you don’t.”
She laughed and some commotion in the back of the bus had us turn our heads to find out what else could possibly be happening.
“Move!” Someone yelled. “Drive! Drive! Drive!”
“He’s coming back!” Another voice said. “Hit the gas! Drive!”
Apparently the guy who yanked the conducter down was running after the bus to do it again. Of course, we were too late in shaking him off and the bus died, again. More groans from the crowd.
“We should have just gotten out of here as fast as we could,” I heard a woman say.
This time, I groaned. None of this was worth the aggravation. It was too much to even care about what ridiculous commentary people were giving. And it’s not like the idiot jumping the bus was gonna hijack us. At the point I was at, I was hoping maybe he would so these people’s fears would be justified and I wouldn’t have to face work. Somedays I’d rather just get kidnapped to keep my life exciting.
The bus driver, what a good man, rolled his eyes and got up to fix the problem…again. Someone, probably the same person before, told him he was going to get shot. Sassy black lady laughed loudly.
“What?” I asked her. I wanted to be just as entertained, instead of frustrated.
“The look on your face, girl,” she said between guffaws. “You look like you’re about to kill someone.”
I smiled at her.
“When I go postal, I’ll make sure you’re off the bus first.”