Sunday, August 05, 2012

BUS STORY # 300 (Shorts 26)

It’s Monday night, and a younger guy and I are at the Lomas/Louisiana bus stop wondering why all the police cars and ambulances and fire engines at the Burger King across the street. There’s no evidence of mayhem we can see. Everyone is standing around talking.
“Maybe there was a hold-up.”
“Don’t see any news vans anywhere.”
“Right, right. Maybe there was a grease fire.”
“Grease fire wouldn’t pull half a dozen cop cars.”
“Think there was an accident?”
“I didn’t see any wrecked cars when I walked past.”
“Maybe it’s a flash mob.”

***

He stops at my seat, eases out of his backpack, sits down beside me with the backpack on his lap. He’s probably early 40s, jeans, gray baseball cap. He rummages through the backpack and pulls out a long blue box. I can make out most of the title: something something U.S. Presidents. He opens the box, pulls out a stack of long cards, fans through them, selects one, and begins reading. I can make out the drawing of a face on the top of the card, single lines under the face, and paragraphs under the single lines. Flash cards! For learning the Presidents!

***

He’s slouched down in the last row, by the window on the passenger side. He’s got his right leg up across the tops of the aisle-facing bench seats in front of him. His left leg is folded up so his foot is on the armrest of bench seat before him. He’s got a bag in the seat beside him. He’s effectively taken up four seats, and his expression is designed to let everybody know he won’t tolerate any request to make some room. The driver almost misses a large young woman at a stop, and pulls up some 20 yards past. I see her walk past the window on her way to the front door. The sloucher is irritated. “Driver oughta make her run.” The only thing moving on him is his mouth.

***

Guy gets on the morning bus with a big bouquet of roses.  The driver says, “Uh-oh, looks like somebody forgot to go home last night.”  The rider replies, “Nah, I just opened my mouth.”

__________


The photo at the top of this story is titled “yellow roses (on the bus),” © All Rights Reserved, and is posted with the kind permission of hugo poon hp. You can see all hugo poon hp’s photos on Flickr at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/26706225@N08/

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