I am performing an experiment (or, more of an exercise) that I'm calling 'the Bus Stop series'. They're really rough, purely first draft and continuous flow, but I'm just considering the possibilities of bus stops. What a place for people to collide. It is one of the few places where all are equaled, the status is leveled and every man, woman, child, no matter their age, income, or race, is depending on the same service. Waiting the same amount of time for the same mode of transportation. So, I give you Bus Stop 1.
I don’t normally ride the bus, see. People who sit outside in the winter have gotta have no other choice. And there’s always some homeless guy, digging through the trash and talking to himself. Stinking up the street. I hate busses. Three months ago I was in a car accident. Have you ever gotten one of those nasty seat-belt burns, the ones that, like, look like a serial killer tried to slash your neck and feel like a really awkward-placed rug burn? Because they suck, itch like hell, too. You know what else sucks? The bussing system. Honestly, city council.
Nice to meet you, I guess. You got any cigarettes on ya? Listen, I may look like a shlub waiting for the bus, but I’m better than this. I’m not like the other bus-waiters and pass-holders, I have a car, damn nice one, too. And I have a job, and a tenure, I’m sayin’, so don’t look at me like that, bub. I look like this because I was up all night, see. Yeah, writing my book. Novel. Romance novel, that’s right, I’m a romance novelist and proud of it. And I teach a freakin’ ton of bright-eyed eighteen year olds how to write. They think now they’re in a big ol’ university they’re going to succeed at something. Of course they’re wrong, am I right? Heh, stupid kids.
Hey listen, you wouldn’t have a light, would ya? Because I got a craving something awful, and my ol’ lady doesn’t like me smoking, so I do it when I’m waiting for the bus. But I guess I left my…oh, thank you, thanks. There is some kindness in the world. Aw, that’s it. Warms ya up, eh? Join me, join me, we’ve got a while ‘til the damn bus gets here. Sit on down, ain’t no reason to stand up I ain’t gonna hurt ya. Listen, like I was saying, my wife hates it when I smoke like this. You won’t tell her, I won’t tell her, that homeless guy digging through the trash over there won’t tell her, so all is right. All is good. It’d be better if I had my car back, eh bub? Listen, I bought that car when I got a big, fat raise last year. Bought the wife a nice pair of earrings too, I did. Now, lookin’ at me, you wouldn’t believe my wife married me unless it was outta spite for some better-looking guy. ‘Cause I’m saying, she’s a fine piece of God’s creation. Nags like hell and smokes like a chimney, but she looks just as good as the day I met her.
She stays with me for my money, probably. Bein’ a teacher-slash-detective-novelist doesn’t pay too bad, see. Eh, who am I kidding, she’s crazy about me. We got a kid together too, finest toddler ever seen in Denver. He’s four, name’s Ryan, and shoot he talks and runs around like an eight-year-old. He’s gonna be a doctor, he is, Yale’s already begging him to enroll! Swear to God, friend! Kid’s made for greatness, I’m saying, he, he’s reading books already. He’s four. We got a library in our house, see, full of every book you could want in a lifetime. Now, I’m not bragging or anything, bud, but I got a sweet set up over ‘bout five blocks. It’s a white house, with a porch and one of them tire-swings, and I got myself my own office, with a liquor cabinet and all. Dead serious. My son, Rhett, he’s four, he toddles to that cabinet and tries to get it open, hilarious! Kid’s gonna be a drinker, I can tell. I’ll slip him some scotch when he’s nine or ten and we’re at a baseball game. We do stuff like that, you know, father-son stuff. And my wife stays at home and cooks us steaks. He’s gonna be a lawyer, did I say? My kid, Randy. A damn lawyer! Made for greatness.
See, you’re wondering why I’m dressed like this, and why I got this beard, but I told ya, I was up all night, right? Writing a novel. It’s a great piece of work, too, got fairies and elves and all. I already got people calling me about publishing, uh huh. I didn’t have time to run home, see, had to make the bus. Otherwise I would’ve changed into a nice suit, cause I got nice suits, and one of them ties, a crazy, striped one. And my shower’s broken, bud. You don’t believe me. I got a nice blue house, I’m telling ya, eight blocks from here. Woah, woah, guy, is this your bus? Sit down, we’ll have another cigarette. Would you bum me, one? Look, friend, what is your deal? I’m not looking to rob you or nothing, I already told you: I got a wife and a seven-year-old daughter and a nice home and a car waiting for me. I’m successful, I’m fulfilled, k? No, No I don’t need your money! What do I look like to you, a charity case? You know what, take your pity and board the damn bus. I’m staying here, this isn’t the bus I need. And I ain’t got my bus pass, must’ve left it in my car. I parked just down the road, I’ll drive, ya hear? I don’t need no bus.