Wednesday, October 18, 2006

#24 in the 47 Roanoke: Transit Epiphanies Series

Today, the bus was a veritable cavalcade of nut bombs.

It started at the bus stop in front of d'Bronx. I like that bus stop because then I can see all the early morning denizens of DB Coopers, the bar across the street that opens at 7 am. I am fascinated by Coopers. And I love watching the snooters who are so desperate they can't even drink at home at 7:30 in the morning, they have to go socially imbibe. I left the house too early today so I made my way to the DB Coopers stop so I could watch people leave and know that they were driving home (or to work!) in morning rush hour traffic and toasted, like Toast. No, not like MToast, but like wheat toast, but not as healthy.

So I sit down on the bench outside of d'Bronx with my coffee from the ultra-cheerful barista at Room 39. He's so goddam chipper it should be a frickin' crime before ANYONE has had their morning hit of caffeine. But I'm willing to forgive him for giving me too much happytude in exchange for the best damn java on the block. Two old street duffers shuffle to my stop and start asking themselves how they are. The first one says "Life is treatin' me like a dooooooggggg. A dawwwwg. Dooooohhhhhhhhggggggg." The second guy says he thinks he's going to Purgatory. He's going to come back as a native of a Third World country. Two frat rats, one in the feyest pink polo shirt I have ever seen stumble out of DB's. I check my watch. It is 8:45 am and these two buttnuggets are acting like it's 7:30 Friday night. They hoot and holler and climb into their red sporty stupidmobile and take off. I can be grateful that pinkshirted dickhead is NOT driving. One of the street duffers says, "Cain't b'leef they drink dat sheet. Serving it for 30 yearz!" ....and his bus is here. The 39. I never find out which Third World country he thinks he'll be reborn in.

The 47 arrives. The other street duffer gets on before me and fumbles with his fare. I swipe my card in time to the conversational cadence between the bus driver, an elderly African-American gentlemen and a woman. I enter on this line and I know that I need to wake my ass up in order to truly enjoy the ride: "What the HELL does a bunny rabbit have to do with the resurrection of Jesus?" I sit down and whip out my journal. This bus ride will be one for the ages.

Conversation continues in this vein as courtly elderly African-American gentleman adroitly proselytizes to the driver and another passenger about religious holidays. The bus driver, a young, spirited man who wasn't of the highest wattage sez: "If I see a fat man in a red suit come down my chimney, I'm gonna BLAST him!" The transit-preacher chuckles and replies, "Yeah, that's the only time I'd pull out my double barrelled. That'd be one dead elf."

I cannot write fast enough.

The bus driver and the transit-pastor continue to kvetch about the commmercialism of holidays and segue into Greek myths. Medusa with the snakes on her head? Those were dreadlocks. Yes, ma'am. Medusa was a sistah. So were Jason and the Aquanauts (sp) sez the buspreacher. The bus driver nods and says, "Yep. I seen it in the Clash of the Titans. I watch dat movie alla time." The preacher jumps on this statement and says that if the bus driver pays close attention to the Greek myths, then he will see they are about the suppression of the black woman. I cannot write fast enough.

Seven chattering Mexican day laborers get on at the West Side bus stop. They are boisterous and pleasant and I wish I spoke Spanish so I could understand what they are talking about. It is a mixture of spirited Spanish and some English but not enough for me to know what the topic is. However, two of them smile at me. I grin back.

The bus driver starts asking the preacher if he's seen Friday the 13th Part 2. It's his favorite movie. The preacher doesn't answer and begins to look at the rest of the riders.

A woman accepts a flyer from the preacher and as the bus nears my stop at 10th and Baltimore she reads, slowly, aloud, "Destined to Witness."

And I wonder what that means, exactly, for me.

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