Bus Stops

Hi Cath

Women with tombstone teeth, cop shy men, Russian scientists… Truly, American bus stops are a wonderful insight to the world.

The first bus was easy, the 2nd left me waiting for 35 minutes with these two guys outside a tyre shop. One guy was big and black and kept ducking into the tyre shop every time a cop car drifted past, the other guy was a young Hispanic who, in the blazing humidity wore a thick black hoodie about ten sizes too big and a pair of cuts off that would have fitted a sumo wrestler. Naturally they rode half way down his rump and I entertained myself by wondering when they were actually going to fall of completely.  He wore a baseball cap back to front and so far down over his eyes he had to tip his head back to see and he spent most of the time singing out of tune rap very loudly to his iPod and doing a gangsta style dance, complete with crotch grabbing. (His not mine!)

After about twenty minutes of this Cathy came trundling up on her smart yellow and blue bicycle, stencilled with white daisies. She was enormously proud of it and it was clear the bike spent more time being taken for bus rides that it did actually being ridden.

‘My brother got it for me,’ she said, stepping back so we could both admire it, ‘after I got out of the wheel chair.’

Cathy was in her late fifties and hugely friendly. She had top teeth on the left and bottom teeth on the right and it was clear the two seldom met, both sets being fairly tombstone like in appearance. She told me her mother was psychotic and her biological dad had adopted them (?) and when he died of pancreatic cancer it was Cathy who offered him the cocktail of drugs that hastened the end. Really???

Then I got the #10. This ride entertained me by the blonde waitress and the middle aged guy. The bus was packed and they sat across from each other where it was impossible to not see each other. Some minutes into the ride I dozed off and woke to the waitress snapping,’STOP STARING AT me!!’
The middle aged guy said, ‘Don’t flatter yourself, you too ugly anyway.’

Sheesh

The next bus ride was directed by the Russian woman. Fixedly unsmiling but kind, (funny how the two don’t seem to go together comfortably but she was both) anyway she offered advice in a deep Russian accent, gratified and pleased with me when I showed her my bus pass as opposed to a single ticket. What was she doing in Florida? I asked, gesturing around us at lack of snow and ice. She gave me her first smile, beaming it was, and said her heavy Russian accent that, ‘I am hlugky, I am scientisd at oceanographer instidude vorking vid leedle black visch.’ Whereupon her bus came and whisked her away.

As instructed I got the #40 and travelled back the long way round while a woman in her fifties three seats behind me preaching to the poor little five year old black girl that she’d cornered. The child kept glancing with wild eyes at her mama while the woman cried, ‘And it was Jesus, who saved me, JESUS I say, and YOU child shall know HIS NAME.’

As  the bus crossed 17th street who should board again but the Hispanic of the loose pants and the cop shy Black man. We greeted each other like long lost friends while the other bus passengers watched us with carefully blank faces.

When I got to the bus station for the final leg of my trip a big (BIG) black mama in bright tight red tracksuit pants with a very tight green sweatshirt took offense to an approach from a drunk homeless guy and started laying into him with one of her crutches, yelling at the top of her voice.

Truly I had an amazing day! I love America!

 

The first bus was easy, the 2nd left me waiting for 35 minutes with these two guys outside a tyre shop. One guy was big and black and kept ducking into the tyre shop every time a cop car drifted past, the other guy was a young Hispanic who, in the blazing humidity wore a thick black hoodie about ten sizes too big and a pair of cuts off that would have fitted a sumo wrestler. Naturally half way down his rump. He spent most of the time singing rap very loudly to his ipod and doing the jerky rap style dance. The one where they thrust their hands alternately in the air and down at their crotches.

 

We were so bored waiting for the bus when this woman, Cathy came trundling up on her yellow and blue bicycle, stencilled with white daisies. She was enormously proud of it and needed the bus ride to take it to get lights. It struck me the bike would be taking many more bus rides and not so many roads trips. Cathy was hugely friendly. She had top teeth on the left and bottom teeth on the right and it was clear the two seldom met, both sets being fairly tombstone like in appearance. She told me her mother was psychotic, the bike was a gift from her brother when she got out of her wheel chair and her biological dad adopted them (?) and when he died of pancreatic cancer it was Cathy who offered him the cocktail of drugs that hastened the end. Really – it’s funny the things you learn at bus stops.

 

The next bus ride was directed by the Russian woman. Fixedly unsmiling but kind, (funny how the two don’t seem to go together comfortably but she was both) anyway she offered advice in a deep Russian accent, gratified and pleased with me when I showed her my bus pass as opposed to a single ticket. What was she doing in Florida? I asked, gesturing around us. She gave me her first smile, blinding and said her heavy Russian accent that, ‘I am hlugcky, I am scientisd at oceanographer instidude vorking vid leedle black fizh.’ Whereupon her bus came and whisked her away.

 

I got the forty and travelled back the long way round and as I crossed 17th street who should board the bus but the Hispanic and the Black guy. We greeted each other like long lost friends while the other bus passengers watched us with carefully blank faces.

 

When I got to the bus station for the final leg of my trip a big (BIG) black mama in bright red tracksuit pants with a very tight green sweatshirt took offense to an approach from a drunk homeless guy and started laying into him with one of her crutches.

 

Truly I had an amazing day!

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