Same time, same place

**WARNING: This post has the potential to be extremely boring**

I frequently ride the bus to work. The fastest way to do that is to be on the bus that stops 2 blocks from my house at 6:45, ride for a few stops, transfer to another bus that takes me downtown, and then transfer to a THIRD bus that takes me to work. If I leave my house at 6:40 am, I am usually at my desk around 8. That’s not too bad. I guess.

When you take the same bus every day (I don’t, but at least 2-3 times/week), you start to see the same people.

During the school year there was “sullen teenage girl” (never smiled), the “bagel twins” (brother & sister pair who were, more often than not, eating bagels at the bus stop), and “emo boy” (always in black, also no smiling).

During my first transfer, I usually see a couple in their late 50s opening up their corner market. On days that the doors are still chained shut by the time I get on the bus, I feel very concerned. Where are they? Why are they late? Is someone ill?

However attached I get to these people and their imaginary lives (yeah, I like to make up stories about the people I see), there is one person that I dread seeing.

His name is boring loud-talker. He gets on the bus with a neighbor almost every day. And they sit together. And no matter where I sit on the bus, they either sit right in front of me or right behind me. I am fairly certain that the youngish (i.e. 35-40…damn I’m getting old if that’s youngish), fairly attractive bald guy CAN speak. I think I’ve even heard him before. But not often. Boring Loud Talker (BLT, not as awesome as the sandwich) mostly talks about his son Paul.

Paul is essentially a good egg. He’s just a little unmotivated after the divorce (ex- is a she-demon who has a soul of evil & darkness, as I’ve heard in great detail). He’s frequently in the wrong place at the wrong time, and is always getting fired for things that are not his fault! Once, he reported a theft from the shipping area of UPS, and was fired, along with the actual thieves! Because they are so mean! And then recently, Paul was working as a security guard at a local mall, and was fired because his manager was an evangelical Christian who frequently evangelized at work. When Paul protested in a completely reasonable way (“It makes me uncomfortable in the work place, and I wish you wouldn’t be so vocal with your religious views”) he was, again, fired! Oooh! Religious discrimination! He’s been fired from a number of other jobs for other reasons that were definitely not his fault!

This weekend, though, Paul fled the scene of an accident because, although he wasn’t the driver, he panicked! But he certainly hadn’t done anything wrong, and definitely isn’t back on the drugs or anything. Not his fault.

I kind of wanted to tap the father on the shoulder & tell him that his son is a lazy, good-for-nothing hoodlum that needs a little tough love, and letting him use your car to get to all those “job interviews” that he’s going on is not helping. And perhaps military school is the answer. Or maybe you can at least convince him to get a GED (he dropped out of school when he was 16 – not his fault, though, the teachers were way harsh or something).

BLT infuriates me (although the tales of Paul are better than the tales of why the young accounts managers suck & they should all stop working so hard & making BLT look bad). I don’t want to know so much about his life, and his divorce, and his son’s shiftlessness. But at the same time, I’ve obviously absorbed all this information. And I would probably be concerned if BLT didn’t show up for a few (blessedly silent) days in a row. Probably.

At least he’s better than “woman who was potentially covered in ear wax or a similar substance” that sat next to me on the bus today. That was just gross.

Might be time to start carrying the iPod to work again. Or maybe just discreetly leaving military school applications lying about…..


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