How was your commute?

The bad news is that, haha, I owe several hundred dollars in takes this year literally because I only learned yesterday how tax brackets work. The good news is that I got a DVD of “Who’s the Boss” from Netflix the other day, and it featured an episode guest-starring Delta Burke as a promiscuous socialite and another featuring Betty White as a ruthless TV host. #suicidepostponed #this is a non sequitur but I had an erotic dream about garry shandling the other day like for real #he didn’t let me finish either @meg
Twitter-format jokes: more fun than twitter since 2011.
So, as I mentioned, I’m on the bus three to four (closer to four) hours per work day. Except for the terrible tailbone pain – the seats are ergonomic, but not for Earthlings – it’s a really manageable kind of misery in the mornings. Everyone else is on a long early-morning bus ride. No one wants to talk or make eye contact except for the guy at the transfer station who I overheard say, “I’ll be a pervert till I die!” and I feel like the rest of us have a tacit alliance against encouraging him.
Coming home is a different story. My bus goes past the agricultural high school, for all those Philadelphia School District kids who go on to farm, and it gets there right at the time school lets out, so the bus is literally packed to capacity with teenagers.
Things I Have Learned About Teenagers:
1)    Loud
2)    Talk about sex, masturbation, and the human body more in 15 miles than Meg and I do in our entire humor book about war crimes
3)    Loud
4)    They’ll just put their leg on yours so that you have to move your leg so you’re not a child molester
5)    Loud
6)    Oh my God, Loud
7)    Teenagers have an odor. It results from having the energy to run around and sweat, then covering the sweat smell with Bath and Body Works Hayfever and Diabetes in A Jar Turbofloral Spray.

Things I have learned about these particular teenagers:
1)    They’re still undecided about what they think about the new girl, Brooklyn, but suspect she will turn out to be a bitch.
2)    Brad cheated on Tanya first, which if you know that doesn’t make her look as bad as he tried to make her look, and she broke up with him first too, and he’s texting her now.
3)    They do not intend to save anything for marriage. It is a struggle to save it until they get off the bus.
So, hooray. Youths. God bless ‘em. Imagine how thrilled I was to get The Early Bus home the other day, which passes the school too early for the kids?
Now imagine how thrilled I was to see someone shoot heroin on the bus.
Let me take you through it. I’ve been on the bus a few minutes, and we stop near a shopping center. A guy gets on with a suitcase and gigantic Ikea carrying bag and asks the driver for change. The bus driver does not have change, but they manage to work out a deal, and homeboy sits down nearish me.
Chris’ Brain: Oh, he’s cute.
Chris’ Brain: Are you kidding? He’s sweating in that indoor way. He looks like he needs an IV, a steak, and like twenty naps. A solid hose-off in the yard wouldn’t go amiss, either.
Chris’ Brain: We’ve done worse.
Chris’ Brain: …Granted. But that was college.
Homeboy proceeds to root through the suitcase, find a candy bar (I feel it’s important to note it’s WHITE CHOCOLATE with little cookie bits in it), and eat it like… well, like it was heroin. I’m doing that thing where you stare right next to someone so you can watch them and pretend to zone out or be looking out the window if they catch you. He wraps up the last bit of his bar and stows it, then starts rummaging in his pants – his arm is down the outside of his pant leg, so I think he’s either the least efficient masturbator in the world or getting a gun. I barely have time to think “well, if I get shot Meg will benefit from heightened book sales,” before I realize that most mad shooters probably don’t have to spend five minutes rummaging in their pants for a gun and that something weirder is afoot. Sure enough, Homeboy proceeds to flop over from the waist and sway bonelessly along to the bouncing of the bus. Absolutely no one else appears to be watching. After a couple minutes, he straightens up, works something down his pant leg and apparently tucks it in his sock, and starts making small talk about guitars with someone else on the bus. I texted roughly a dozen people to be like “HEROIN ON THE BUS BIG CITY LOL” and at least three people asked me if I was sure, like sure sure, that it wasn’t insulin.
Yes, I’m sure. Because ten minutes later he did it again, and followed it with some vigorous stretching.
When he got done stretching, he asked me if I had change for a five – I didn’t, but I gave him a subway token. I figured that since I was absolutely going to blog about his addiction, it was least I could do.
Here are the morals I’ve drawn: HANDS DOWN better to be confined somewhere with a junkie than a meth-head, and I wish I’d tried heroin when I was young enough for it to be considered “finding myself.” I know damn well who I am at this point, but God, he looked calm. I’ve never been as calm as that in my entire life.
On the home front, remember my crazy neighbor? Well, the woman in the apartment next to her has started teaching herself some kind of loud “power ukulele.” We might make it to the end of the month before my building is reclassified as a mental hospital, but it’s going to be a squeaker.


Brett Minor said...

I have always lived in small towns and am grateful that I have never had to use public transportation. I have heard a thousand similar stories and do not regret having missed them.

electricdaisy said...

"(I feel it’s important to note it’s WHITE CHOCOLATE with little cookie bits in it)".

EXCELLENT. I so enjoy your posts. (And Meg's! Fun fact: When 2b1b pops up on my Google Reader, I open the post in a new tab and read it at the very end of everything, on the actual website. Like a big ol' nerd.)

allison said...

I agree that teenagers are the worst thing about the bus! Drug addicts are probably just the third or forth worst. More entertaining so maybe one of the best?

hijabeng said...

"Teenagers have an odor. It results from having the energy to run around and sweat, then covering the sweat smell with Bath and Body Works Hayfever and Diabetes in A Jar Turbofloral Spray."

OH HELLS YES. They grow up to spray their DESIGNER PERFUME all over themselves ALL DAY EVERY DAY. People like this are the reason why I've started getting allergy injections. Grumble grumble.

Handflapper said...

I have lived in itty bitty towns my entire life, so opportunties to take transportation of any kind is rare. I have taken the train on long trips, but now I realized what cultural diversity I've been missing. The bus it is for me next time!

Just kidding. I'd rather be dragged naked behind the train than take the bus.

Marina said...

And I'm the kind of special where the "pervert!" guy would get a wink and a nod from me before I realized that we weren't friends and that's a weird thing to say when nobody nearby is your friend.

Anonymous said...

You think the power ukulele is bad? My neighbor just bought an accordion. Because he "wants to learn to play cajun music." I know this because I heard him talking about it through the walls. I hate my life.

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