Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Transit Stories, Parts 1 & 2

Yesterday morning, I ran to the bus stop because I saw my bus sitting at the intersection. Once I got to the stop, I realized that bus wasn't going anywhere -- all the lights were off save the hazards, and there were reflective-vest wearing techs standing around nearby. So I got my magazine out to wait. That's when I heard this terrible coughing, retching sound from behind the bus shelter. I turned around and saw someone bent over, coughing away. He came out from behind the shelter - he was a youngish looking guy in a baseball cap and sweats. I felt bad for him. I walked over to the bus schedule to see what time the next bus was. Baseball Cap said "I think we just missed our bus. I got off the 28 a minute ago to connect, but there wasn't anyone else at the stop." I replied that maybe the stalled bus was the one we wanted, and we'd be waiting for a while. Then I walked a few paces to get back into my magazine.

That's when I heard a just totally hair-raisingly nasty retching / belching sound coming from Baseball Cap's direction. Then the smell hit me. Then he retched and belched again. I walked towards the garbage can to throw something away, only to realize Baseball Cap puked all over it. I turned around to see where he was and realized he puked all over the bus schedule and bus stop signpost, too. He must've done that right after we chatted about "our" bus. At this point, three people came to the stop, saw / heard / smelled Baseball Cap getting sick, started mumbling, and quickly walked away.

That's when Weepy Drunk Lady appeared. She came out of the gas station near the bus stop, talking about the lateness of the bus. Then, she headed towards me and started crying. She brushed right past me, crying and talking to herself. Baseball Cap belched behind me and something wet hit the ground. Two more people who'd come to the bus stop looked at each other, shook their heads, and walked away.

At this point, I did something I've never done in my whole transit-riding life. I called Aa and asked for a ride to work. As I did this, Weepy Drunk Lady suddenly stopped crying. She looked at me on my phone and her eyes narrowed. "What?! You're gonna be late for work?! You ignore a homeless person?! You're calling your boss?! With your fancy backpack?!" I wasn't worried about being late for work, I wasn't calling my boss, and my backpack is old, ratty, and thoroughly un-fancy. But she was right about one thing. I was trying very hard to ignore her, as well as Baseball Cap, who must've just been puking up bile or dry heaving at that point. Aa agreed to give me a lift, and I headed home. Weepy Drunk Lady followed me for about 100 feet, yelling questions at me the whole time. I didn't answer any of them.

This morning, I again saw the bus waiting to cross the intersection to my stop. This time, the bus was running and all the lights were on. I again ran to the stop and got on. As I headed back to find a seat, I heard "This song was way ahead of its time! It's really trance-y!" I turned to see who was talking - nobody talks on the AM buses here. A middle-aged man, developmentally disabled, was listening to an iPod through headphones. He had a huge grin on his face. "This song was groundbreaking! Yeah! Hey, that house is boarded up!" He looked up at me and grinned even wider. I grinned right back.


MaryKate_G said...

This made me laugh very, very much.

MintyJ said...

Really? I didn't think it was that funny. Except for the fancy backpack part. That was pretty funny.

MaryKate_G said...

"Hey, that house is boarded up!" was pretty funny too. The retching guy was not funny.

Mr. Smith said...

Good story. Sounds like it was a bad day for the drunken homeless.

Confronted with two reperesentatives whose constituency is called "Middle Class Guilt."

Z_gal said...

Wow. well documented.