Saturday, September 29, 2012

BUS STORY # 308 (Gettin' My Kicks etc.: The Sequel)

Gun On Bus by busboy4
Gun On Bus, a photo by busboy4 on Flickr.

Last week, I wrote a story about a troublesome event I witnessed on the # 66. If you haven’t read it yet, you probably should before reading this post. You can do that here.

The day after, same time, same station at The Frontier, waiting for the same Red Line, I catch sight of a little guy in one of those mesh, foam-front baseball caps I’ve never seen anyone wear except old men. He’s working the stop for, as it turns out, a cigarette. When he gets to me, he stops, squints, then says, “Hey, you were on that bus yesterday.”

“You mean the 66?”

“Yeah, with that crazy guy.”

He says he was sitting right across the aisle from the girl who told that guy to get off the bus. He cackles at this.

I ask him if he knew what the argument was all about. I was too far back to hear.

Yeah, he saw me back there by the back door. He was wishing he was sitting where I was. The crazy guy said he was packing a 24.

A 24?

Or a 25. Some kind of pistol. Old guy here was getting ready to hit the floor if he saw any sign of gun.

A gun, I am thinking to myself. A gun? In my calmest indoor voice, I ask him why the guy was so angry.

Cuz the driver wouldn’t let him ride for free.

So now I am wondering anew, knowing as I do now that the kid might have been armed, would I have done anything if he’d started toward the young mother who told him to get off the bus.

It makes me uncomfortable to think about having to live with the consequences of the choice I might have made.

On the other hand, we never really know what we’d do in such an extreme situation until we are there and make the choice we make, whatever it is.

Some of us have lived to tell about it.

And feel good about it.


Anonymous Brenda said...

Wow, crazy story. I'm still wondering who the young exhausted kid was and why did he get off the bus?
Who knows what any of us would do in a difficult situation. I think of the men and women on United Flight 93. I'm sure they didn't think they were going to die that day but they didn't hesitate to do what was right. I think inside all good people is a hero waiting for the right moment.

8:20 AM  
Blogger Busboy said...

Brenda, I think the young, exhausted kid was just trying to get home, and -- this is my hypothesis -- when he discovered the wild kid was more interested in getting the driver to give him a free ride than in having someone else pay his fare, and that there was no telling when the police would show up, he just got discouraged and decided walking was faster than not moving, and also less stressful than staying.  I had meant to look for him once we got going, and just forgot.

Thinking back, I don't believe he really had a gun. If he had, he had so little self-control that I believe he would have pulled it out and waved it around and who knows what else. But I am still left with questions about what I might, or might not, have done that afternoon, and why.

6:11 PM  

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