Today on the bus was almost surreal. There was a beautiful afternoon light. It was practically empty and quiet except for the roar of the bus engine and the droning computer voice telling of the stops, telling us to be aware of suspicious packages and telling us that it is for our safety and COMFORT we are being monitored by camera. Anyways, I looked around and the five people on the bus were all reading. I was reading the Alchemist. A young woman looked like a student, she was reading a textbook, a guy was reading a newspaper. A homeless looking guy was in the front. He was a mountain of a man. He had his pants rolled up to his knees. He was holding up a book and reading it. He had garbage bag belongings. His legs looked swollen and raw. The one leg was bandaged in many places. He had sores on his thick trunk like legs. He rubbed his sore legs.
Today on the way home I just missed the bus, I knew the wait would be super long, it was about 20 minutes. I waited inside the fish fry place and got some fries. The place was jam packed with folks getting their chicken boxes. The pepper shakers are chained to the wall. In the bathroom the toilet paper is chained to the wall too.
Outside the spot this dude says to me, "Sista, can you give the original man 45 cents." He acted as if he were waiting for the bus and yet Original man didn't get on the bus after someone gave him the money.
The bus was crazy crowded, no room to even squeeze to the back. And then a woman with a walker, the kind that she could sit on, got on the bus. For a moment I had someone's backpack in my lap. That walker was a bulky thing. The already sardined people needed to part so she could get in with her grandson who was like eight or nine. The elder sat down and the bulky thing sat in the aisle. No one could get through. It didn't fold! People were almost hanging out the front door while the bus still stopped at all stops picking people up. Her grandson sat in the thing.
A young lady was sitting at the window next to the elder. She was having an intense conversation with the woman. I don't think they knew each other. It seemed she was on her way to visit someone she knew in prison. Catching just snippets of their convo. She maybe knew the guy who was at the bus stop asking for money. I heard her say she told some guy that he was a loser. She also had a baby in day care. The bus slowly emptied out. When I got off the bus the young lady was still talking. The elder was able to move the walker so folks could move on to the back.
D told me the other day when he was on the bus three young girls got on, all of them had a baby. There were no seats. One of the girls walked down the aisle, pointing at the people on the bus like they were sucka MC's and said, "I know on this crowded ass bus that someone gonna get up for the fucking baby!" A guy stood up quick with his arm up! D said the guy stood up like a benched player at a basketball game finally asked by the coach to play. "Over here ma!" He gave her the seat and started to rhyme about how hard it was out there. He rapped about the streets, his friends, his girls and his life out loud the rest of his bus trip. Some of it was freestyle and some was rehearsed. I asked D if the guy had skills, he said the guy seemed motivated, not ready for a record deal yet, but if he put his time in he might be able to do something with his talent.
Since there is never a line formed as people wait for the bus, try to let the people who were waiting longer than you get on before. This is a silent agreement between the folks waiting for the bus. Some people break this silent agreement and cut in front of the line.
Sometimes if the bus stop is very crowded you will have to just claim a spot. It is civil enough. I have never seen folks fight about it, though it sometimes gets tense.
There is no single spot you can stand and know the bus will stop directly there. It depends on the driver.
If you are waiting at the bus stop alone never wait by the actual bus stop sign, that is a sure way to get the bus to drive right by you. Instead, when you see the bus finally coming try to make eye contact w/the bus driver through the window and nod. You can always wave like crazy to get the bus driver’s attention, not too maniacal or they won’t want to pick you up.
Do not read the arrival times posted at the bus stop to get an accurate idea about what time the bus is going to come. The buses come five minutes to half an hour of the time posted. A book to read or electronic distractions are highly recommended.
Sometimes two or three buses will come at the same time, go to the third bus because that bus will have the least people in it and will probably be the best smelling.
On the bus
There's a 50-50 chance the fare box will be broken. You don't have to pay. Take it as a tiny little gift.
The fare box likes to eat nice, crisp dollar bills. If your quarters have lint they will be spat out and then you have to stick your finger into a dusty wayward coin catching box and redeposit your change. Don't be like some people who put twenty pennies in fare box.
$3.50 buys you a full day of passage on the rolling circus called the MTA.
When you get on the bus you might have an easy time- not too crowded- a smattering of seats. Don’t take a seat next to anyone talking/singing to themselves, talking on a cell phone, leaning over or wrapped in a cloud of funk like Pig Pen.
If the bus is super crowded- suck in your butt, suck in your gut, hold your purse and say “excuse me” as you squeeze through all the people crowded in the front part of the bus.
Hold the pole so you don’t fall. Keep your balance like an urban surfer.
If you happen to find an empty seat towards the front of the bus give it up if a person with a baby, elderly person, handicapped person, pregnant woman get on the bus and there are no seats.
Usually you will find a seat in the very back where the guys with the tattoos on their faces sit.
Ring the bell by pushing the yellow tape or by pulling the cord to get the bus to stop at your bus stop. Do it as the bus pulls out of the last bus stop. Your timing must be impeccable-if you ring the bell too soon it won’t register for the next stop, if you do it too late the driver will assume no one wants that stop and pass your bus stop right by. If the bell doesn’t work yell, “Next Stop!” at the top of your lungs.
On the bus this morning I heard a man renewing his Xanax prescription.
I went to the ATM and waited behind a woman. she finished and walked away leaving her card in the machine. When I went to the ATM and the machine was telling me to "return card" or "continue with another transaction" I pressed return card and called after the woman and told her she left her card. She came and got her card and just looked done. Did she even say thank you. She might have been super embarrassed. The woman waiting behind me acted like nothing odd just happened.
Coming home took so long. We waited half an hour for the bus! And yes it was "rush hour".
I saw my dream car (faded denim blue, old school VW bug) which made me happy.
Otherwise, it was a long, dreary rainy whiny wait. The freaking bus finally came. The annoyed driver told a wobbly, drunk man to wait as he tried to get out of the bus while we were getting on. He stood in the middle of the bus and yelled, "You want me to get out the backdoor! You want me to go out the backdoor, huh!" He started to get off at the back door and yelled, "You wanted me to get out at the backdoor right!" The people on the bus were laughing at the man. I was glad I wasn't on the bus earlier because it seemed like he might have been entertaining the bus riders with drunk antics.
I finally went to pick up my driving permit. I had worked so hard for it. The wait at the dmv was the same. The computer voice droned out E23 and then H5, A22 in her robotic voice. They were at G16 and I was G43! I was so sick of that place, I didn't even want to be in there.
I left and I went shopping at the Target next door. I planned to spend 25 minutes out. I spent forty five minutes shopping! Got slippers for every member of the family and picked up some really cute tops on the Mossino clearance rack. I overheard the workers gossiping to each other. There was a constant beeping sound from the walkie-talkies they all carried.
I saw a gay couple with a baby. The baby was in a car seat in the cart. They argued about if they should feed the baby in the car or at the cafe.
I was nervous that the dmv might have been close to my number and semi rushed back. They were at G34. I sat next to a mom and son to my right, and an elderly man with shiny white hair to my left. He immediately started to make small talk. He was perplexed about the way the numbers were coming up. He looked like he was in his fifties. He said, "I hope our health care doesn't get like this. Can you imagine?" I looked at the mostly unsmiling women behind their desks helping the customers. He went on to tell me about a woman in Russia who was in labor and the nurse on shift, whose shift was over, saw the head of the baby and left the woman because it was time for her to go home. The baby had the cord around her neck! "That's not the kind of health care I want." The guys said. I was so disturbed by the story. Was it even true?
I said, "I never heard that. Did that really happen? Who does that? I mean you would have to be crazy to leave a woman in labor like that!" I said. It could not be true. "Yes, can you imagine what type of person she is? She has no morals." He said. I really wanted to get to my book. I started to read.
He said, "I'm glad no one is coughing in here. I guess it's not flu season yet." Mind you swine flu was in full piggy effect. "It actually is flu season." "Oh is it. It's pretty packed in here." The chatty man said. I smiled politely. "I'm F24 and there at F12, but they just said C47. I could not come up with a system like this. It is too smart for me." The man said. I put the book down and took a deep breath. The mother on my other side commented on the number system too. Her son said something to her and he pointed to a guy being helped by one of the drones. The mom consoled her son who was so distraught and offended at the way the guy up there chose to carry himself. He stared and shook his head as the young man went through the process of getting his pic taken. I wondered why it mattered how the person lived their life. This kid seemed so terribly bothered by something that wasn't even his business.
I saw two men with tattoos on their faces. One guy was maybe in his early 40's, he had two hearts and the other, was a young man who had tear drops right below his eyes.
A man sitting behind me was talking on his phone. "Do you give jobs to ex offenders?" "OK good. I had spoken to someone who told me to give y'all a call." "Uh, Can I speak to Rib?" I guess Rib got on the phone because he started his shpeel. He said, "My pee is clean. I work hard, I just need a chance." I guess Rib gave him a chance because he said "OK 9:00. Should I tell them Rib sent me?" "Thank you."
We all groaned when K1 was added in the mix. Towards the end of my wait the computer voice called G40, 41, 42 in succession. She called an F and then my number. This lady behind her desk didn't make eye contact and smiled, she was distracted by her pink pearly phone that she glanced at as she reached for a paper and picked up the phone and text-ed as we waited for the permit to print.
I went back to take my permit test again! I studied the driving manual and took the online tutorials like four times. A lady on the bus told me to study the questions about the alcohol and the road signs. She was right.
The dmv was packed but I went straight to the test room. Right outside the testing room door it says "STOP you must not Enter until you are called." You are supposed to disregard that sign and just walk in. There were a few others there. I was put on computer four. One, two and three were taken. I took a deep breath. I started and I knew all the answers, then there were two question that I was 75% sure of so I skipped those for later. I finished the rest of the test in a few minutes. Before I could answer the skipped questions, the test ended and said I passed! Green all the way. The three others who were on their computers were still taking their test.
I had to work not to do the football touch down dance. I sat down and waited for my results to print out. I saw myself driving. I saw the car, me behind the wheel. I was a step closer. No more 30 minute waits, no more wasted freakin time waiting and waiting.
I saw the red rectangle of failure pop up for everyone of those other people who failed the test.
The elder behind the desk had a cloud like white afro and fluffy beard. He had a sprinkle of dark moles on his face. He called folks by name and told them they passed or failed. Like we could not read that on the screen. Like some of us weren't cursing ourselves for getting three wrong. He told them when they could return. One guy could not come back for a week that meant he failed twice. He finally called me. He asked me if I wanted to pick up my permit today. Of course. I said. Not knowing the wait the was before me! He handed me a slip of paper. Another receipt with bar code. I was B29 when I went back to the waiting room they were at B9. I waited and texted.
A middle aged father with a baseball cap and his pimply faced kid sat breathlessly next to me. The father had the driving book and was quizzing the son. I gave them the same advice the woman on the bus gave me, study the alcohol and the road signs. The father looked through the driving manual for info about driving and alcohol. "The stuff about the drinking and driving is in the other book." I told them. "Another book! There's another book? There's no other book." "Yep and on the test there were at least five questions from that book. You won't find anything about drinking and driving in that one." He looked at the table of contents, he flipped through the book. I was reading my book and looking at them. The father finally got up to find the other book. The son asked me questions. He said he hadn't studied anything. They were called. And finally it was my turn. An unsmiling woman took my receipt and scanned it. She typed for a while and then said, "How will you paying for that?" And silly me said, "How much is the permit?" "Fifty dollars." "Oh! Wow, I didn't know their was a charge...I didn't bring....I never saw anything about a charge." The next customer was already waiting behind the chair I was sitting in. The unsmiling woman handed me the receipt.
I had more than enough proofs of everything! We used a jury summons, bank statement, I had my student loan, cable bill, phone bill. I was so relieved and I was given a receipt with a letter and number. It wasn't too crowded.
A computerized voice called out letters and numbers. She said G5, I was F33? The computerized lady said A23, G23 and finally F17.
I was slightly anxious. For fifteen minutes they didn't call F anything.
There were 28 numbered booths lined up. Behind the desks unsmiling women helped anxious folks.
In front of me A group of very young looking girls with two babies, one baby was being held by a girl who looked 14. She had a front pouch but held the baby. The baby was little little baby with a blue blanket. The other baby, a twin? Was in a car seat on the metal bench we sat on. She had her friends helping her. One of the friends sang, "Babies having babies." In a loud voice.
A woman in business attire walked by, her friend came out of the testing room. "I failed!" "Oh no!" "I can come back and retake the test tomorrow. I got a 16 out of 20. Missed it by one. I don't know what is wrong with me." Too bad. I thought. When they finally called me, I was ready. I smiled at the unsmiling woman behind the desk. there was this black binocular looking contraption on the desk and a computer screen. As the woman typed my information I was supposed to read the screen and make sure she was putting in the right information. She gestured to the binocular thing. Time for my eye test. I guessed. I looked in it without touching it with my face. "I don't see anything." "Mumble mumble." "Ugh I have to touch that thing." There was a white strip and as I leaned my forehead on it i saw the familiar eye chart letters. I was distracted about the fact that thousands of pimply foreheads were at one time on that thing. I read the last line and passed the test. I wiped my forehead with a baby wipe. "Mumble, mumble." "Time for my picture?" I put my chair against a the blue wall and I'm not sure what my face did. Flash and over. She handed me the papers and pointed to the right. "Should I go now? Over there?" "Mumble mumble!" I found the testing room. A row of desks and computers. Another line.
The woman makes eye contact and speaks clearly. She takes my papers types and types something into a computer and hands my papers to someone else who looks at my paper and types on the on the computer. He says my name and says computer 3.
The computer was a touch screen. I knew the first ten and then I had to skip four questions and when I went back to them I got the first wrong, the second right. The I got the big red rectangle! 16 out of 20! I failed. I didn't know the hand signal for left turn! FAIL! Go back to the beginning. I sat down with a group of others on school like desks. Some folks looked dejected like me! I failed by one dang question. A woman who was taking the test at a computer stands up and raises both arms in a victory sign. "Yes!" She yells in the quiet room. F you lady. Dang show off. How could I fail? I remembered the questions and wrote them down on the driving manual that I should have read more thoroughly.
I went home and I took the test online, i read the manual and got 19's and 20's on the on line test.
I felt so dumb. The woman called my name and handed me my papers. She said I could come back the next day. I could only shake my head and take the papers.
I sat behind two middle aged women. The one closest to the window was talking about Jack. Jack finally died from a heart attack. They spoke of his and his families drinking problem and how Jack was constantly driving drunk! He was caught once! He was so drunk once he couldn't walk. Next they spoke of another woman they both knew who died of a brain aneurysm. The woman closest to to the window said she had one and went to JHopkins for her surgery. She said she really bothered the hospital because she wanted THE top surgeon in the world Ben Carson. She said they told her he was out of the country for two weeks and she said "and you know what, I waited till he came back. That was five years ago." Nothing in the woman's demeanor gave away what she has gone through.
On the bus I got on with a woman with a sleeping baby and stroller. The baby had his head on her shoulder. The bus was packed, she stood in the front with the baby her whole ride. There were young people and there were people with canes sitting. One girl looked up and looked back down. A young man was sitting down, he looked fine. I didn't say anything. Was it my place? I squeezed my way to the back of the bus.
I went the social security department to get a new social security card. The service was quick and efficient. When you enter the waiting room there is a computer with large colorful buttons on a touch screen. THE REASON FOR YOUR VISIT Appointment Lost Card/replacement New Card Application Other
Two things though, in the waiting room the chairs were not facing the window where the customer service people helped folks. I guess they don't want to see the bored and anxious, annoyed faces of the patrons. I had to really push myself to go. I had both girls and I was going to be on a long bus ride and then a significant walk in a strange neighborhood. It was a warm day and it was a very busy area, no trees. Zooming cars it was not made for walkers. A hefty man with beautiful long locks helped me. He was quick. We saw a work desk that went up and down instead of the chair.
We waited for the bus to take us back home in front of a BMW car sales lot. Finally the bus came after 15 minutes. In front of us, zipping zooming cars. Finally an accordion bus. We got on and the bus smelled like sulfur, like one of those stink bombs that kids would let off in the hall way at school. We sat down. I said Phew! The man next to me said- that's what hell smells like. Another man walked by and said-it smells like a perm. Folks acted normal to the smell that dissipated as the bus drove on.
My card came a week later.
I went back to DMV with new social security card, mail from the social security department, passport, mail from my bank. A woman who yelled -NEXT helped me. She seemed almost happy to tell me I did not have enough identification. She said with the social security letter I needed the actual envelope too! I did not bring any bills! Why didn't I bring a bill. I really thought it was enough. I searched my purse for something, nothing! I was so upset!
Today went to get my driving permit. I had my social security card (which I laminated when I was 18 years old), a passport, bank statement, and other pieces of mail. I waited on the short line that was held together by faux velvet dividers. All types of people on the line. Finally it was my turn. My social security card was laminated! A laminated social is not acceptable it says so right here. I asked for a scissor. I cut the edge of the shiny card and as I peeled it I saw it was tearing the card. I could not pass go!
To: The drunk/high man dancing in the rain at the bus stop
RE: Dancing Drunk in the Street
I know the music coming out of the fish fry place was bumping, but outside, in the cold rain, with no umbrella is just not the place to be dancing, especially dancing like a toddler with ZERO rhythm.
I also wanted to comment on the fact that tumbling into the street with its moving cars and trucks could have gotten you very hurt, yet you kept dancing even as all of us transit riders gasped. I was worried for you dude. A good guy took you by your arm and helped you out of the street and you were clueless and still dancing. You were feeling good, huh, but you already had bandages on one side of your head, you don't want any more hurts. So, why not go home, turn up the radio and boogie your heart out there. Also everyone was laughing at you AND someone was video taping you on their Iphone so you will either wind up on You Tube or AFV.
Always get up for people, not just women but people carrying babies and children.
Always get up for a pregnant woman. And if you are not sure then just get up without making a comment about her impending delivery date.
I've been seeing a lot of folks not getting up for the above mentioned. Get the hell up lazy bones. Why T H do you need to sit so bad so you can get to your destination and sit some more. Maybe watch TV or type into your all important cell phone computers.
And of course make sure you get up for old people, handicapped folks, blind, drunk (cause you don't want them falling on you if the bus makes a sudden stop).
A black Labrador seeing-eye dog guides a blind woman into the sing along story-time at this library around my way. The woman has a toddler in a carrier on her back. He looks at us and waves. She seems familiar with the layout. There are tables pushed against a wall. Her fingers trail the tables as the dog guides her through the rec room. Women and children open up the circle for them. She sits on the floor and takes the toddler out of the backpack.
Mamas, dads, nanas and nannies sit on a blue, alphabet mat with sweet, chubby babies on our laps. Several of the children refuse to sit still and are being chased. The story-time lady gives everyone rattles to make music with. She forgets the lyrics to "We're going to Kentucky."
The blind woman’s little boy has a monkey backpack with a leash attached to it. He keeps having to be pulled back away from the crates of colorful scarves and furry animal puppets that he can see. She tries to hold him while singing, "Are you sleeping".
Her baby sits for a moment and he gets squirmy again. He has bells on the back of his sandals so she can keep auditory tabs on him. The child next to the beautiful, shiny black seeing eye dog is playing with it's tail. It does not react. The dog lays heavy on the mat waiting for her next task. The children pet him, some avoid him as we march around in a circle. The mom stays to the side and marches in place leaving the dog in the center. At the end of the story-time a few of us are left gathering our children and talking. The blind mom comments on her son missing his nap the day before. This gets us all into a lively toddler sleep deprivation discussion. She gathers her son and herself to leave. I stay behind as my daughter climbs up and down and up and down a few steps and stands next to her toddler friends.
I sometimes find it challenging to leave the house with my own toddler. There are diapers with changing pad and snacks, wipes, entertainment, stroller, change of clothes, juice, book. Then your own keys, phone, bag, money, jacket... Then the getting changed and dressed and shoes on....I tried to imagine what she dealt with doing it as a blind person. Leaving the house has to be an act of daily courage. Could I be that brave in my everyday life?
I wondered how she got to the story-time. Then one day I saw her waiting for the light to change, toddler on her back and her seeing-eye dog very attentive as cars and buses rumble passed.
I saw her again recently, this time walking with just the walking stick and her toddler. He had the same monkey backpack with the leash attached. They walked up the block to the bus stop where I was. They turned the corner as a bus pulled up. Her child said, "Bus mommy." She said, "Already?" I said, "It's a 22 bus." "That's what I need."She said. The bus driver lowered the bus steps for her to get on easier. She picked up her son and put him on. She stepped in and up and then went in her pocket for change. Doors close. My older daughter and her friend who had witnessed the two were staring at the departing bus. Then they looked at each other in amazement and said, "Whoa!"
And then I see her again at the supermarket. She was pushing a stroller and was carrying a basket. There was a somber looking worker walking with her. I heard her say, "sweet potatoes". I wonder if he will help her pick good produce.
I took the crowded bus after work. It is filled with students and regular folks. I could walk the ten blocks but seriously after a full day of work it feels like twenty blocks. I get on and the bus is humid with the breath of many warm lungs. I hold on trying not to bump anyone or touch anyone though we are only centimeters apart.
A woman gets on the bus. She says, -I have just had dialysis can I please have a seat. The bus was silent. I heard crickets. No one got up. And then finally someone in the middle of the bus got up. We moved out of the way and the woman from dialysis started to file her nails with an emery board. She looked like a healthy woman. My heart broke a little bit.
I squeeze my way to the back of the bus and this in not one of those regular city buses. This is these new fangle double buses with an accordion in the middle. Sometimes when the bus gains speed the back of the bus sort of snaps a little out of control, like a roller coaster. The bus in the size of two buses. It is crowded in the but not sardine can. I find a seat behind the mohawk twins. Two middle school/early high school brown young men. One has a blue tinge in his mohawk and the other has a slight pink mohawk, diamondish studs in both of their ears. A girl with a Louis V head tie and maybe house slippers is on the phone. Huge group of folks at the bus stop they get on and still no one wants to move back. She finally moves back climbing the two steps to the top. She stands next to the twins seat. The mohawk twins are giving her the mean eye. -I did say excuse me. She says loudly and with great attitude. To the twin on the right. They both blink at her with attitude, teeth are sucked and cold eyes rolling. She gets back on the phone. I get off at another crowded bus stop.
A woman was drinking a large can of beer wrapped in a brown paper bag, she was sitting next to a guy who turned out to be her brother. He was drinking an equally large can of beer wrapped in a paper bag. The bus was crowded and somehow I wound up standing near them. The woman was having one of these cell phone conversations WHERE EVERYTHING IS SAID REALLY LOUDLY FOR NO REASON or because of drunkenness. The man offered me a seat. She paused from her phone convo and said to her brother, "If you didn't offer her a seat I would have busted you in your God D&%^% head!" I laughed and when I saw he was not laughing I quickly stopped. I thought she was kidding. He stood by the back door and put his tall beer in the garbage bag tied to a pole. There were children sitting next to us. She said into her cellphone, "You're lucky there are some kids sitting next to me or I would be cussing your ass out!" "You got some candy? You know what kind of candy I mean!" For some reason that sounded like some kind of drug deal. She started to describe her looks to the person on the phone. No comment she did not look like her description-drunk, old haggard weave, stank, loud, she didn't mention any of these things. She then gave the phone to her brother and she hawk eared and eyed him. He was trying to describe her on the sneak tip and she's like "I already described myself. I'm gonna stab you in your neck if you don't stop that stupid sh*t!" He complained into the phone about her violent nature. Not good for the blind date I think they were arranging. She said, "I stopped fighting! It was your fault I would be getting into all those fights."
During rush hour buses should run every five or six minutes not every fifteen!! It's rush hour so people are rushing. When we have to wait so long, it's no longer rushing and that could make us late. So come on just add a few more buses. Hey just take a couple of those almost empty ones I sometimes see during off peak hours, there not that busy...give them something to do.
A handsome man gets on the bus. He is smooth looking and seems to take very good care of himself. He is wearing a suit and has two canes. He is missing a leg. He gets on bus and sits down effortlessly. He reminds me of Blair Underwood circa 1990's dry curls and everything.
I got up for an elderly woman as soon as she stepped on the bus. She said thank you and smiled at me. She called me over with her index finger. I wearily got closer, she said -I guess I didn't fool you even with my wig on. I laughed out loud, as did she. -I got the grays braided up under here. It was so funny.
An ordinary day, going to work, the bus is dark and cool, and practically empty for once. We make this hair pin turn and then straight. I hear a person yell and the bus stops at the next bus stop and waits.
Two red haired police men come to the bus, one is a head shorter (a little brother?) Both have a short spiky haircut, a nose with a bump and milky white skin.
The taller one comes up the steps a bit and tells the bus driver she might have hit a car. The woman whose car was hit is screaming and cussing outside.
I have to get to work, the people inside the bus start talking to each other.
The woman whose car was scraped is still yelling as the bus is inspected by bus driver and police.
When I first got on the bus, the driver was talking to a stocky guy in dark glasses and golfing cap, dark opened jacket. He stood up front and spoke to her and i heard her say that earlier that morning at 4AM the cops had stopped her car. It was not the driver's day.
Most of the bus passengers are outside. Some are smoking. Some are examining the bus giving their version of the story. The woman whose car was hit is still yelling.
MTA comes in a jeep.
Inside we wait. I stay inside and write. Next to me is an elder with a little girl with a big blow up Dora doll, there's a lady with a pony tail who said she used to work across the street and wished she still did. The guy with the hat who was speaking the bus driver earlier gets on the phone, he is standing front and center. He says, "You up in my house, you got my money." "what you doing in my house with out my money MF?" "you better get out my house now or there's gonna be trouble." I'm like WTF. So he gets off the phone and goes outside. The older lady and I just burst out laughing. We look at each other in shock.
Looking out the window, the sun is glaring on this upset, cussing, yelling woman who no one is taking seriously. Cops, bus driver, MTA, witnesses all there. Finally, everyone gets back on the bus and the woman is still shouting as the bus pulls away. The bus driver said she was not in error. It was the womans' fault, she opened her door as the bus was driving passed.
A woman with braids and a tie sits back down directly in front of me. She picks up her word search book and looks back at me. She says "That woman out there tested me, but i said to myself i am not going to jail again. Not today. I have control of that." And then we stopped at the next stop, the bus got crowded and loud and normal.
Hello! I am a Haitian American writer and visual artist.
My writing has been published in various anthologies and literary journals. My collages have been been exhibited in galleries, libraries and cafes throughout New York and Maryland.