Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Movie-Driver's Ed

I cried when they showed The Movie in Driver's Ed class. The Movie was this horror movie where they showed all these slow motion accidents with people flying out of moving car windows, getting smashed by trains because they tried to outrun the train, people falling asleep at the wheel and slamming into trucks, just horrible scenarios and it was real footage. Distracted drivers just mowing down people! And I tried to watch it and started to cry it was tooooo much. I cried quietly so I didn't embarrass myself. I read my book and put on the headphones. The people in the class were groaning and screeching, and ooohhing and oh shitting. Some covered their eyes. And the soundtrack was a sad, slow pop song about being in the arms of the angel.

Going home the bus is packed. A big dude is sitting in the front, he has an open can of beer, the tall kind, in a paper bag in one hand and in the other hand he has a small bottle of liquor like they give in airplanes of whiskey? vodka? rum? He is loud and laughing. He doles out unwanted, yucky, salacious relationship advice to the bus riders. Like nasty advice.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Stench

I got on a relatively empty bus that smelled so bad. It smelled like if the Grim Reaper ate some three day old, left over, left out taco bell and then went out, got on the bus and farted a wet, nasty fart that had a life of it's own. Then Reaper got off the bus and left the offensive odor. I got on that bus. The doors shut ominously loud behind me.
I panicked. The bus was going at a breakneck speed down the street. I had to hold on. I had to sit. I had to get out! It was a Sunday, if I got off the bus the wait would be 45 minutes, if I was lucky.
I scrambled to this seat and then another one and all of it SMELLED bad. I finally sat and opened the window. The "fresh-ish" air helped. Malodor was my neighbor.

The smell permeated the seats, the walls. It wasn't a smell, more like a terrible stench of 40 days and 40 nights of living, eating, walking, sweating and not washing, and it smelled like piss dripped and dried and shit not washed out of cracks, and sweat forever more, and body odor, the nastiest, worst funk.

A woman had a like one year old baby on her lap, the baby's head was tilted all the way back, downing the drink from her sippy cup. Her head stayed back for so long it seemed unreal. It couldn't be the baby that smelled that bad. Nothing that came out of babies smelled like that.

Someone sprayed perfume. Could you believe The STINK gobbled up the spray. Being close to the open window helped. At first I watched the range of emotions people had when the smell hit them. Some frowned, and shook their heads in disgust. Others made comments about nasty asses stinkin'. They realized quickly though that if they opened their mouths too wide the STINK would try to get down their throats. I stopped looking at the people and opened the book I brought to read during that, my "Me" time on the bus. Somehow the wicked smell faded a bit. How could that be?
The bus pulled up to my stop. People looked at me with envy because I was getting out of that smelly bus. I walked home slowly, thankful that the smell did not follow me. I relished in the colors and beauty of the changing to evening sky.

Sunday, June 5, 2011


Driving class is going great. Tests every week and I'm getting 90's and 100's.
Getting on the bus to class is where the action happens. I got on the bus and there is a hooded, youngish late teens, early twenties guy sitting in the front with bags all around him. He stares at people as they get on the bus. He gives me a look. A dude with suspenders and huge Erkel glasses gets on and sits across from the guy with the bags. The guy stares at the dude with the glasses with annoyance and exasperation. He mutters, "glasses" and "bald headed". The dude looks uncomfortable but doesn't look at the guy who is obviously talking about him.
The homeless guy looks at me and sticks out his tongue. Not like in a nasty way, but like a first grader nya -nyaing his friend. I laughed out loud, it was so funny, such a strange gesture from a stranger. I did not stick my tongue out at him.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

1st Week of Driver's Ed

My mom learned to drive when she was in her forties. She surprised the whole family by presenting her new driver’s license to us while dancing around the living room with joy. My mom never danced around. She was so joyous that she passed. She didn’t tell anyone she was going to driving school.

Being a native New Yorker I never felt the need to learn to drive. The subway system goes almost everywhere and in every direction and there are buses for the places the trains can’t take you. And of course there are four taxis to every person in New York City.

My first day of driver’s ed I wait fifteen impatient minutes for the bus. I get on the full, but not crowded bus and the only seat available is across the aisle from a laid out heroin/crack/meth addict. He is passed out and leaning on what looks like a large laundry sack in the seat next to him. He looks messed up with a large, red lump like a small horn on his forehead. His mouth is hanging open. On the floor around him are large bags.

The guy sits up like a zombie rising, his eyes don’t open. I see that the laundry bag was really a bent over woman in her own drug induced stupor. She is stooped over, bent in her seat. Her vividly dyed hair is the only thing alive and it is hanging over her face. The addict sways and falls back to the side and lays back down on the woman.

The bus makes a stop and folks get off. The man still in his haze calls for the bus driver to wait, he somehow realizes it is their stop. With wobbly legs he stands up. He coaxes the woman up. They pick up their belongings. When they finally get to the backdoor we see that dude has pee all over the back of his shorts! There is an audible gasp and folks start mumbling about it. I am disgusted and shaking my head. The drugged up couple tumble out the door.

The class is fine. The driver’s ed the teacher is funny. She tells us little hilarious bits about her life and the other students and the dumb things they’ve done on the road.

There are folks of all ages and races in the class. The first lesson is a typical driver’s ed lesson with lots of information about a cars dashboard and what the gauges mean it is all interspersed with jokes from the teacher and laughter from the students. One student tells the teacher he drove to class alone. Everyone laughed at how illegal and stupid that was.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Monday, January 17, 2011


There is a viral video out that involves a rat in a subway car in NYC. The rat does something so yucky and terrible that I don't even wanna repeat it. It reminds me of a Charm City bus experience with rats.

It is late one evening, I am waiting for the bus. There is a huge intersection in front of me and a large cemetery behind a large wall and high fence right behind me.

The amount of rats I see is crazy. It is like a horror movie. Across the street in the parking lot of a Rite A the rats are playing freeze tag and using the little scratch of grass and dirt as their personal playground. 1, 2, 3 and 4 come out of a hole and chase each other around. They run into the middle of the street and scramble back on the sidewalk. They go in a hole and 1, 2, 3, 4,5, 6,7 come out and start running around. A cat comes out from behind the tree watching them it does nothing.

No sign of the bus.
Across the street where I am standing I am shaking in my shoes. I eyeball the sewer drain, the filled to the top garbage can near me. And a few minutes later I hear the rustling. A lady who is at the bus stop also makes a noise and moves away. I move without even looking and when I look there they are 1, 2, 3 running up and into the garbage can! TAXI!