Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Raunchy, raunchy bus

I often get the delight on the bus of sitting next to someone totally disgusting. I feel a little mean passing judgement like that, but its true. Today at the bus stop this scruffy, crusty guy was talking to himself while waiting in the covered bus stop. Sure enough, he plops right down on the seat next to me, immediately assaulting my nostrils with dreadful fumes. It smelled like a combination of burnt coffee, and body odor that hasn't been tending to in days. I tried to close off my nostrils the best I can and breath out of my mouth, looking like one of those scary "mouth breathers."

After this weirdo exited the bus, another one took his place, but luckily, she wasn't sitting near me. She talked the entire trip, and I couldn't even tell what she was saying. She was a heavy black woman, with cream-colored palms and a huge suitcase. I wondered where she was going, her life story, what she was talking about. I wondered what it would have been like being born into her body and family history rather than mine.

Coworkers have told me horror stories about the bus, since as people getting up, and having the entire seat covered with urine. Public transportation is nice, and good for the environment, but can also be very repulsive. Who wants to smell poop on the way home from work? Any takers?

One reason I'm so in love with the Bainbridge Island ferry is the clientelle. This is still public transportation, but I feel like I belong here. I never feel worried, or threatened. Everyone who rides this boat seems to be of a professional background. In one way its safe, its comfortable, its people "like me". On the other hand, it's bland. I am glad I have those other colorful characters in my life, to keep me grounded.


Colleen said...

Some people can't help their body odor - but when someone clearly can and doesn't clean up... THAT'S when I'm offended. I've sat next to many-a-teenagers who clearly dress in clothes a middle-class family can afford, but they smell like they slept in a pile of their own feces. It's offensive and makes my acid reflux flair up.

Neo said...

haven't been on a bus in a few years, last time was when I had to go down town for a court hearing vs my landlord (whole new story there) but anyhow, it is interesting to see who rides, where they may be going and what led up to them being on the bus etc.
great post, think Eric would get a kick out of this (when he gets out of his cloud of "I'm in London")

Paula said...

It's a harsh reminder of the lives some people live.

McJumpguez said...

I usually get the weird ones to either sit next to me or come up and talk to me. I seem to attract them. It's probably cuz of our calm and welcoming demeanor.

Dan-Eric Slocum said...

Kristin. Those are my favorite people on the bus. The I CAN'T BELIEVE THAT people