On the bus (1)

January 8, 2007

This post marks the beginning of a little series I hope to run on Sheep Days. From time to time, I will post what I observe while riding on the bus. I use the Tempe public transit system several times a week, and I’ve seen some things worthy of note.

Today, I sat down with my backpack and totebag tucked onto my lap and hunkered my head down into my belongings; I wasn’t in the mood to talk to strangers–I rarely am. A well-kempt woman and a merely kempt man, both in their 30s, got on. They sat across from each other, and at first I wasn’t aware that they were together. The man put his feet up on some empty seats, which offends my bus-riding sensibilities, and he was sucking on a tootsie pop. He and the woman started talking about something; I wasn’t listening to them, but it became clear that they knew each other and were riding together.

Then the man asked me, “Do you go to school at ASU?” I said, “Yes.” Then he said, “Do you know Mark Spencer?” I said that I didn’t.

The woman said to the man, “You miss him, don’t you?” The man said, “Guys don’t miss other guys.” Then he looked at me and asked, “Hey, do you have any guy friends that you miss?” Shamefully, but expeditiously, I said that no, I didn’t. This is not true, but I said it anyway. Then he said to the woman, “See? Guys don’t miss guys….unless they’re (here he turned his hand down with a limp wrist, implying that men who miss other men are homosexual). It’s here that I started to feel really bad that I lied because I didn’t want to help him make his ridiculous and bigoted point. But, I didn’t say anything. Pretty soon I got off the bus; they continued on. That’s what I saw on the bus today.

4 Responses to “On the bus (1)”

  1. Evonne Says:

    If you would have said yes, you would more than likely have gotten into a conversation you did not want to be in. I like my space too. I would have chosen the easier answer also just to get back to myself and my thoughts.

  2. adan Says:

    Wow, what a position to be in. I often fail at points like that. It takes a lot of energy to be who want to be all the time…I go to a coffee shop around the corner (o-kay Starbucks…I said it)…it’s my safe-place where I read the paper, drink coffee, write. Every now and then I’ll over-hear a conversation that seems trivial and superficial, I imediately judge them. I then feel guilty as to my judguing them… and all this in my safe place where I can be around others but don’t expect their presence to affect me.

    I guess just putting yourself out there physically on the bus is vulnerable in itself….stay on the bus, don’t get off it.

    Now that I think of it, at least you didn’t have head phones on or were on a cell phone…

  3. sheepdays Says:

    You two have been good to me, offering me these comments of absolution. Thank you. Sometimes people on the bus can be such loose cannons (and I include myself)!

  4. Kryna Says:

    That was a great post. It is real life. The things we often ‘forget’ after they happened and yet they are the ones that make up life.

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