Humor Magazine

Representin'! Or People. Huh.

By Pearl

The bus, this morning, smells of hot dish.Some sort of tomato-based, Italian-sausaged, crusty-cheese-topped hot dish.
It is 6:35 am, and I am ready for dinner.
What time did this person get up, anyway?
For the uninitiated, there are many potential smells to the bus.  The February unwashed-winter-coat smell of the horror of middle winter.The weed-y What?-I’m-holding-this-for-a-friend smell creeping from backpacks.Smells of flowers bought at the farmers’ market, of exuberant cologne wearers, of wet hairspray.
Generally, though the bus smells of nothing.
Impressive, no?
How do they do it?Of the hundreds, maybe thousands of people that ride a bus in a day,  can it be that the majority of us are reasonable human beings?
I got into a conversation the other day.
"I don't know how you do it," she said.  "Riding the bus?"  She shudders, shaking her head.  "Ugh.  So dirty.  All those people.  You just don't know what kind of person you're dealing with."
"Weird," I said, "that's what they say about you."
And didn't that get me a look.
I took a good look around today.  Just who are we dealing with?  The guy who wears long sleeves no matter the weather, the psoriasis peeping from his wrists.  The woman, dab-dab-dabbing moisturizer on her face for the three miles downtown.  The man in the business suit and track shoes, reading 1984.  The woman who went from slender to pregnant to mother of a six year old -- she shakes now, relies on a cane -- maybe early 30s.  The man with the pointy head, traveling with a boombox and usually dressed as an NBA player, circa 1976.  The middle-aged lady in sensible heels and a jaunty hat, her purse balanced on her lap, waiting...
Bus Friend Sandy boards.  "Look at you," she says, sitting down.  "All dressed up."
I smile at her.  "Just holding up my end of the bargain," I say.

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