I’m trying to make myself ride the bus more. My regular route with my regular bus people. I was familiar with my regular people. I knew who smelled bad on a hot day, who had the best snacks, who fell asleep and didn’t interrupt my audiobook, and who sat squished up against you given a chance. I had my seat, I had my routine, I knew exactly what would happen and when it would happen.
Except for the guy peeing on my truck. That I didn’t anticipate.
But, for the most part, my bus route was fairly routine. And now they’re doing away with it. So, new route, new bus, new people, new experiences. Part of my fear with writing is the fact I have no stories to tell that don’t actually happen to me. Or to someone I know. But still, I have no fictional story or characters to develop. I just write what happens. Because it’s generally healthier to laugh at life than to complain. So today, despite the fact it was above 90, we were in the sun the entire ride, crammed in like sardines, and I’m pretty sure the heat was running instead of the AC…I shall tell you the funny. Because there was plenty of funny.
Side note: this isn’t enough to actually tell much about but is worth noting. A lady in front of me was scrolling through facebook and if I see a meme I have to look. It’s how I’m wired. She had post after post after post talking crap about Jamaican men. I didn’t know that was a thing? But, apparently, it is! It was hysterical. Mostly because I didn’t get it, but still.
My fave people to watch today:
Chapstick Man: A young (20ish) man got on the bus on our ride home. He was dressed in pants and a long sleeve shirt and wasn’t sweating. Which made me envious and suspicious. He was also one of those folks that make too much eye contact and moves in slow motion. A mix of sloth and reptile. You may not know what I’m talking about now but when you see someone it will click. He sat down upfront, so I had a great view, and applied ointment from a little tub. I’m assuming lip balm. Or grease. Either way, he had a routine of drinking water from his water bottle, recapping it slowly while staring at someone and not blinking. Then he’d carefully set his water bottle down, take out his little tub of slime, and while continuing to stare and not blink, he’d smear greasy stuff over the bottom half of his face. The little tub would be capped and carefully placed back in his pocket. He would pick up his water bottle, uncap it, drink water, and the process would repeat until he ran out of water. He became more interesting because of the next individual. I found the perfect representation of his blink:
Spandex Hides no Sins: An older lady (I’d guess 60s to 70s) got on the bus and sat across from Chapstick boy. He nodded at her while smearing his face for the umpteenth time. That was all the introduction she needed. She started ranting and raving about how people would rather steal than earn an honest living. Thieves were taking over the world. Conmen were buying plots of land in 500-acre increments. Etc. I was beginning to tune her out and get back into my audiobook when she yanked her shirt up over her round belly. I do not have a problem with round belly’s, mine is hardly flat. But I try to cover it. As I was getting over the shock from seeing a lot of very white belly and old lady underboob I glanced over at Chapstick to see the only reaction he had to the new events was one long, slow blink. I glanced back over to Spandex and she was now hauling the top of her strained spandex workout pants (which had seen workouts the way my yoga pants have seen yoga) down over the bottom portion of her gut. And out popped two sequined clutch-type bags. I had not seen that coming. I did my own long slow blink. She caught them both, quick as a whip, and started rifling through them while still ranting about the sins of the lazy man. She didn’t find what she wanted so she clasped the sparkly bags back against her lower gut, hauled on the spandex until it gave up and covered her girth, and then hauled her shirt back down. Chapstick gave another blink. She continued to rant. He would nod occasionally but never spoke. Just kept drinking water and slathering more grease on. After a while, still ranting, the shirt flipped back up, pants happily rolled down, and out the sparkly bags came again. She dug through for a while, Chapstick nodding and greasing, announced she wasn’t a fool to just hand money away, and packed her bags up. She stood up, yelled at the driver to stop, and barreled over someone trying who had the audacity to try to get on the bus when it stopped. Chapstick waited until she got off the bus to yell “BYE!”. She turned around, glared at him, muttered to herself, and stomped off. He shrugged, got very still, and didn’t move until the next stop where he got off the bus. I assumed that was the end of the oddity. I was so wrong. All examples of her outfit made my head hurt so I’ll spare you those meme’s and gifs. You’re welcome.
Irish: A very sweaty older gentleman (50s to 60s would be my best guess) with a wirey build ran onto the bus after Chapstick left. He had a ton of duffel and grocery bags and it took him a while to get sorted out. I noticed he was talking and assumed he was talking to the driver or had a Bluetooth type device in the ear I couldn’t see. The next time I glanced up he was sitting facing the other direction, there was no device in either ear, and he was still talking. Now, a LOT of people on the bus talk to themselves. But something about the way he was so quiet I couldn’t hear him but gesturing and making adamant facial gestures caught my attention. He began a slow but steady increase in voice. I still couldn’t figure out what he was saying but I could hear the tone of his voice now. He seemed to be arguing with himself. He grabbed a deflated potato chip bag (one of the small sizes like you’d get in a meal from Subway) and unfolded it. He seemed to be gesturing inside it and having an intense, but quiet, debate about the bag and/or it’s contents. He angrily folded up the bag, stuffed it in his pocket, adjusted the sunglasses that he was wearing in front of his eyeglasses (they kept falling off to his increased agitation). Then he raised his fists in a classic put up your dukes pose and started the circling that you see in cartoons. Like this:
I was scared and fascinated with the idea this guy was going to fight himself. How can you even do that? But his fist circles slowed and he seemed to be calming himself down. He’d start to rile himself up, making animated faces and gestures, then he would start to calm himself down again. He kept up his continuous conversation with himself for the next 40 minutes. When I got off the bus he was still angering himself and then calming himself. It was incredibly bizarre.
I’m going to ride again tomorrow and we shall see what adventures await!