(In which we swing down, sweet chariot stop and, let me ride.)

Posted by Job O Brother, January 31, 2011 12:42pm | Post a Comment
Note her cheerful, colorful clothing!

I take the bus to and from work at Amoeba Music, and rarely do I disembark without witnessing something story-worthy. Unfortunately, these stories usually fall under the “horror” genre. Occasionally I tell them to the boyfriend, but usually I tell no one, because even remarkable things become forgettable when they happen constantly.

The above filmed snippet occurred on my way home after working a recent Friday. The elderly woman in the seat in front of me is flipping-off the many people, both locals and tourists, men, women and children, that swarm the sidewalks of Hollywood Boulevard at night. What everyone did that so riled the wrinkly rider remains a mystery. Later on in our journey, when the bus stopped in front of an assisted living establishment, she began gesticulating again, only this time she waved (to no-one – there was no-one standing outside the building) and crossed herself like a good Catholic. In-between these two fits of cursing/blessing, she simply sat and sniffled into her small stash of tissue, kept clutched in her claw. Aww.

If I was a smarter writer, I would simply ride these buses daily and record the many scenes I see. As it is, I stuff my Skullcandy earbuds Eustachian tube deep (often vainly), trying to block out all external noise with sweeter sounds such as these:

Even so, I overhear others, like the skinny, feisty white woman dressed like Stevie Nicks who was daring the jockish, black dude to rape her.

“Come on and try!” she taunted him for blocks, “I dare you! C’mon and rape me, tough guy! C’mon! Are you a man? Are you a man?” I resisted the temptation to tell her it’s not really rape if you want him to do it. Why ruin their romance with semantics?

And no amount of this…

…Could eliminate the visual of the middle-aged Mexican man who was so drunk he couldn’t sit up; only rested, doubled-over in his seat, slowly drooling puke from his slack jowls. I will never forget watching the slowly traveling, chartreuse slime make its way down the main aisle of the bus, down the little stairs – a tiny stream that was still connected by one sticky, tendril-like trickle, to his mouth. It was my Vietnam, and I’d like the government to provide me with disability for having witnessed it.

But in-between all these vignettes of vulgarity, I have my Amoeba Music, always stocked with what makes it worthwhile…

Now, I’m not sure if this is going to discourage or encourage you from riding the bus to the record store, but if you do and if you find me, please be very gentle when approaching – don’t make direct eye-contact, and understand if I stay focused on my Angry Birds. At least until we make it to the music store.

Relevant Tags

Hollywood Boulevard (2), Seniors (1), Bus (1), Amoeba Music (74), Los Angeles (205), Angry Birds (1), Hollywood (86), Skullcandy (4), Stevie Nicks (16), Mirah (5), Athens Boys Choir (3), Gays (71), Extreme Noise Terror (1), Jeannie C Riley (1)