Monday, October 4, 2010


It was one of the last very hot, muggy days and the grease on folks heads was frying their scalps at the bus stop where we were waiting for the always late, always crowded bus. The air in the streets bent like mirages.

A woman came walking down the street without any shoes on her feet, yet she carried a pair of men's boots in one hand and an unlit cigarette in the other. It was hot but she was barely dressed, wearing only a sleeveless longish shirt, her copper colored weave was dusty and matted. She had the most beautiful midnight complexion but her eyes were gone not seeing reality at all. She looked newly initiated into the world of heroin or crack. She still had fat on her and she wasn't stooped. I stared at her openly, everyone stared at her and made commentary. The older women shook their heads and the teenagers giggled and took pictures with their phones.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Child mama

Today a pregnant teenage girl got on the bus. She looked well into the pregnancy about six months. She got a seat in the front. In one hand she held a mountain dew in the other an unlit, but already smoked cigarette stayed between her fingers. She spoke to another girl who asked about her OTHER child. She said that child was with her grandmother of course. She hoped she was having a boy this time so she wouldn't have two heads to braid.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Free Bus

A new free bus is running around the touristy spots of the city. The buses are "green" but the most important thing about them is they are free! And they don't smell like pee or beer. The brakes don't screech. The seats are clean, for now anyways.  If they came on time they would be so convenient. 

By the frothy green water of The Harbor a large crane and several construction workers took down the huge ESPN Zone sign. The sports themed restaurant went belly up(ha!). It closed. Another empty building. It's like so many structures in the city.

There was a large group of about fifteen people walking towards the Science Center. The women, of various ages all had the same peachy complexion. Their blondish hair was pulled back and they wore some type of small blue cap over their buns.  They all had on the same white and light pastel patterned starched matronly dress. The pastels were in blues, pinks and yellows. One of the older women carried a brown baby girl in a back pack. The baby was sleeping and they adjusted the baby's position in the pack. The two women looked just like the other. 
The men and boys all wore short sleeved, buttoned down,  dress shirts and dark polyester looking dress pants. A white child held the hand of a little brown child my daughters age. The boys wore small versions of what the men wore. An older boy held an Asian toddler's hand. Some of the men had dark hair and there was an old geezer with a small straw hat. He had an all white beard and mustache and plaid shirt. Who were these people?
They were quiet as they walked to the ticket counter. Why were they dressed like folks from Little House on the Prairie? I wondered who the children of color were. Were they adopted? Members of their church?

A tatted shirtless man ran for the bus and the bus driver refused to open the door even though he made it. She said something about his shirtlessness and he yelled he had just come out of central booking. He walked quickly down the block.

Eavesdropped on a woman on the bus breaking up with her child's father on her cell phone. She kept telling him to "shut the f--- up!"  She told him she wouldn't make the mistake of falling for him again. And don't call her mother and she won't call his mother. And the 300 dollars you give her a month is a joke. She was cold!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Band Aid over a bullet hole

Someone took down the helium balloons and the pictures of the shooting victim that were on a light pole near the scene of the killing. A small memorial to the young life taken over a stupid argument in a fast food place where folks get their chicken boxes and fried lake trout sandwiches. They took the fight outside and that was the end.
The wreath is still there and the newest thing are all the police. Several cop cars patrol the streets and stand by their vehicles with lights swirling. A warning to anyone thinking about doing something illegal. I heard a bus driver say the other day all this attention now, is just a band aid over a bullet hole. He said the crime will just move to another area and then come back when the cops are gone and the tragedy is forgotten.
Not far from the gas station is a chinese food joint where an elder who was grabbing something to eat before work was robbed and killed. Another life lost for what?

Friday, April 2, 2010


I saw a bus driver who was very distracted. Was he texting? I kept trying to peek
and see what he was doing. I happily hopped off the bus. Folks were getting on as I was getting off and I couldn't look at what he had been doing.
I think they just made it illegal for people who drive buses and big rigs to text. They also get fined. The bus driver was looking down and to the left during the red lights, mostly. I stood up when he was looking down while traffic was moving, slowly, but moving nonetheless.

Once I got on the bus and the driver was arranging a date with someone on his cell phone. He was charming, he sweet talked her, he was very suggestive. The passengers who overheard him were raising eyebrows. Stop after bus stop he continued to talk to her.

I also got on the bus and there were three middle aged folks sitting in front of me. I could see one of the guy's tattoos over his shirt collar. 

I listened to their strange conversation. The strangest part was when one of the guys talked about how the cops busted in on him while he was shooting up. The bleached blonde woman next to him was nodding as the man relayed his story to the tattooed neck guy. The druggie was like he peed in his "diaper" cause the cops who arrested him wouldn't let him use the bathroom. These folks were having this conversation on a crowded bus during the daylight hours with no sense of shame or embarrassment. The bus driver kept looking back at them with disgust on her face. The guy said he was pissed cause he missed some game that was on. They went on about their strange horrible lives and I listened in surprise and shock.

If I can hear the music from your headphones OVER the music of my headphones your music is LOUD.