Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Bus Stop

My homey Lacey recently started up a blog about her daily bus ride: The 167 Short Bus. It's hilarious and profane and it's funny because it's true.

I hate riding the bus. My problem generally is the hygiene of the clientele.

I never rode a public bus until I went to college in Syracuse, NY. My friend Nicole and I used to sometimes take the city bus back from our internships downtown. We had to wait at the sketchy downtown bus depot on S. Salina St., sometimes for a long while if we'd just missed a bus. There were a lot of "special" people also waiting for the bus -- apparently there was some sort of substandard last-stop mental health facility on one of the bus lines. Usually they were pleasant and harmless, but some of them really weren't prepared to be out on their own and did not handle it well. There were also the standard drunken unwashed in the pool of riders, and dirty lecherous men, as well. We tried to avoid the bus when we could, but sometimes the snow was piled too high for us to hoof it.

So this one spring (read: cold, snowy and miserable) afternoon, Nicole and I were walking up to wait for our bus when we saw this guy who appeared to be following us. We kept walking around the bus stop and so did he. And then we noticed he had this foot-long string of green snot swinging from his nose. We continued around the bus stop one more time with him about 10 paces behind us, the snot string turning into a three-foot-long rope. Swing. Swing. Swing. We then realized he planned to circle the bus stop regardless of whether we were fleeing in front of him, and we stepped to the side. We cringed against the glass of the bus stop as he loped past us, and although we tried not to look, both of us saw the final few swings of the snot rope. It didn't fall to the ground; no, it swung full-on into the front his grubby navy blue parka and sealed itself to the fabric.

Our bus came shortly after that, and he did not board. As I remember it, Nicole and I elected to walk the mile or so back to campus after our internships for the rest of the semester.


areyoukiddingme said...

I used to take the bus to school every day. One day, in the middle of a cold Chicago winter, I was standing at the bus stop with one of my classmates, a couple of college students, and a homeless woman. She was wearing the typical odd conglomeration of clothing - an overcoat, a skirt, several scarves, some long johns, and some loafers. Apparently, all that clothing got itchy after a while, because she suddenly lifted up her skirt to scratch her crotch. That led us to notice that there was a huge, deliberately placed hole in the crotch. She scratched for quite a while...very nice. I love the bus!

sara said...

I just commented on your super sweet previous post with that gorgeous smile of hers! But, ah yes buses. There is something peculiar about their smell isn't there? I used to take the bus a couple of times downtown to our nursing clinical in Detroit. After a few rides and one guy literally bleeding from a gunshot wound across from me one morning at 5AM I began bumming rides off of friends!