Saturday, September 29, 2012

Saturday, September 29, 2012

# 23 - Newburg/Fegenbush (9:35)
Status: Late (5 minutes)

I reached the stop at 4th & Broadway just after 9:20. The bus wasn't due until 9:35. I went to this stop because it has a shelter and it was starting to drizzle, but there was a man in the shelter smoking. We've met at this stop before. It was this guy. When I checked the posted schedule, he said the bus would be here in a few minutes and then invited me into the shelter (You can sit there). I stood at the edge. Why, oh why, was it drizzling? He was smoking a cigarette, wearing a Farmers Bureau insurance cap and a UNC-Chapel Hill sweatshirt. He commented on the weather, and he started talking about college basketball. Of course. He said he was from North Carolina. I asked where (Charlotte) and told him I used to live in Greensboro. Then he went off on how great the state of North Carolina is for college basketball and the people here (Kentucky and Louisville) fans don't know nothin.' He cited stats, referenced games and coaches, swore how great Chapel Hill ("We") were and how Kentucky just can't admit it, and so on. The only thing worse than hearing a man go off on his favorite sport is hearing a man at the bus stop do it while also swigging from the flask in his backpack at 9:30 on a Saturday morning.  Then he told me Louisville would never win a national championship with Rick Pitino as coach because of that woman he fucked at the restaurant. I'm not sure of the direct correlation, but it may have involved a conspiracy or just karma. You get what you give, he said. My girlfriend is still alone. I kicked her out when I caught her sleeping with a [ahem] cocksucker. This led to a soliloquy on morals, safe sex, and monogamy. Then,

You know those people who got killed in Libya because of that Christian movie? (I'm pretty sure my eyes widened as I thought, "Oh please don't bring up religion and current events now.") You gotta believe in God; I don't care what God....New Testament...End of the World....You know when those planes crashed into those buildings? (Yeah, I think I recall September 11.) It's getting closer to here... How old are you? (I told him). You're young enough that you might still be around when the End comes and all you can do is pray Jesus takes you before it happens...Something about women who had abortions going first and then telling me that the world was originally destroyed because of "man with man" and "woman with woman." (Me: Where is the bus???)

This led somehow to him telling me Charlotte has more millionaires than any other city in the U.S. and people here not believing him because they've never fuckin' been nowhere...Look it up on the Internet! Which led to college basketball again and then NASCAR. It's the fastest growing sport in the country. People say there's money in horses. There's money in cars! .... And all the black people who are fans... (Me: Oh god, please stop.) ... I used to be a fan but couldn't watch it after Dale died. More about Dale Earnhardt.

Other people showed up, but no one came to the shelter, so there was no new audience for him. I didn't even have to say anything because he'll just keep talking anyway, but if I turned away for too long, willing the bus to appear on Broadway, he'd call out Hey, hey! until I looked back, and then he'd start talking again.

Finally, the bus arrived. It stopped about half a bus length before the stop, and the group of us walked towards it. It had to stop there because of a wheelchair (and the stop is crowded with a bench and streetlights.) The guy got on the bus this time and sat in front of me. He coughed a lot and muttered something about his sinuses. I'm well aware Louisville is a city of allergies, but for this guy I think it may have had more to do with the 3 cigarettes he smoked just while I was there at the stop.

The bus ride also included a man missing an arm who was worried he was doing something wrong on the bus, a man with a sleeping bag and camping bag who boarded with a man and woman who helped him find his stop, and a detour down the narrow, residential Highlands Avenue to avoid the Irish Fest. This confused a lot of people, despite the driver announcing she had to take a detour at Barret. One man thought he was on the wrong bus (I took the 21 before and ended up out here in the middle of nowhere); the man missing an arm thought he was in trouble; the couple was worried their transfer might also be detoured.

Shortly before my stop, the guy turned and asked me how long I'd been in Louisville. 4 years, I said. You married, he asked? Yes. Then I was able to get off the bus and escape him.
I miscalculated the 200th post because of some abandoned drafts. So there are still 5 more to go. They may be the countdown to the end of the current theme of this blog. A change is coming: I'm moving and don't know what my transit situation will be. At the least, it will be a different bus system in a different city. The husband is already there and has a monthly bus pass--he may need to take over the stories. We'll see.

1 comment:

  1. I certainly hope you will continue to ride the bus and blog about it wherever you go.