One of the perks of being a deprived college student (in addition to the inherited caffeine addiction and habitual insomnia) is that my particular academic institution throws it’s students a bone by providing free urban transportation. Without all of the unnecessary glorification, this simply means that when I enrolled at my university, they gave me a flimsy yellow card that allows me to ride the city bus for free. Naturally, I am very grateful for this “gift”- because naturally, I, like many of my fellow collegiate suckers, am broke and car-less.
My dependency on the bus has not only earned me some frequent-flyer (rider?) benefits (ie. I always get on at the same time so there is always a window seat available) but it has also provided me with ample opportunities to make things awkward.
Today’s incident is brought to you by the old woman at the bus stop. Regrettably, I don’t know her name, but she looked kind of like a Phyllis, so let’s go with that. Granted, this actually happened about a week ago, but it has been deemed blog-worthy by my panel of experienced judges (meaning me, and the voices in my head that are involved in at least 90% of all of my potentially-regrettable decisions; this blog is a good example.)
Anyway, Phyllis got quite the show on this particular Tuesday evening. There she was, minding her own business; sitting quietly contemplating the meaning of life and debating whether or not to break into her bag of dried prunes a little early (I’m not making this up-she actually had a bag of prunes, which she did eventually break into during our bus ride- extra credit for stereotypical accuracy?)
Before I go any further with this little episode, I need to make a few points in my defense.
A.) I am usually the only person within 50 miles of my bus stop (or at least a block or two)-so I wasn’t expecting company by any means
B.) My actions on this particular day were the result of an unusually stressful encounter with one of my classes
C.) I may or may not have not have been hyped up on caffeine at the time…Starbucks is a block away from my apartment…draw your own conclusions
So here I am, walking down the same block, at the same time as I do day, after day, after stinking day, when a favorite song of mine comes blasting through my lime green headphones (they are big, and goofy, and part of y daily wardrobe). Although this is something I NEVER do in public, I made the conscious decision to start belting out the lyrics- which was extremely therapeutic until I glanced to my left and noticed Phyllis for the first time-clearly traumatized by the 2-plus minutes of horrific screeching she had just endured.
She and I had a solid 15 second stare-down, she: wide-eyed and questioning whether or not I was sober, and I: wishing I wasn’t sober so I could at least have an excuse for my pathetic attempt at singing (the song was Benny and the Jets, just in case you were wondering.) I tried to laugh off this little incident and meekly apologized but Phyllis refused to acknowledge my existence after I did so. Not only did she swiftly break eye contact, but she then proceeded to get up, walk three more blocks down, and wait at a different bus stop-for the same bus.
I learned two things that day:
1.) Phyllis and I will probably never be friends
2.) I seriously need to reconsider my singing career…dang.