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Bus Story: The Discomfort of Misplaced Assignment

September 21, 2010

The bus is late this morning. When it arrives, it’s an older model and an unfamiliar driver. I head to an empty seat and have to catch myself from falling on my face as the driver lurches forward, then slams on the brakes and repeats the jarring process for another block. Trying to be kind, I think it must be a different bus than he’s used to. So I park myself in a seat and immediately notice a strong alcohol smell from the empty seat behind me. I scan for another spot, but there aren’t many and other riders are filing on. So I switch on Pink Martini and settle in, ignoring the wafting wino smell. At the next stop, a very smiley, really tiny, wee woman makes her way and takes the seat behind me. Clearly noticing the smell, she makes a hasty exit and finds a seat next to a pompadoured dude with lacquered nails and really scary dead-seeming eyes. And my instinct is to somehow explain to her that the smell isn’t me. Why is that need so strong, to effectively say “Hey, that’s not my fault”? The reality is that who cares what she thinks; she’d rather sit next to Zombie Buster Poindexter. But that discomfort is there and is a part of some human instinct to ensure we don’t get blamed for stuff. I should have just hiccuped loudly and asked if the other leprechauns take public transportation too.

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From → Bus Stories

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