I take a local bus from my house, and then, I switch to an express. When I change buses, there’s a wide faced woman with Chinese eyes, maybe she’s a Native American, maybe Alaskan, maybe one of those mixed up types we have here, a little Chinese, some Pacific Islander… it’s not that important, but she’s wide and brown, about my height, and she’s right there as I step off the bus. She reaches up and grabs my shoulders like an old friend and looks me right in the eye; we are face to face.
“Oh my god, I just want to hug you! Look at you! You got off that bus like an angel! Did you see that blond woman I was talking to? She was scary. She had a big owl right here” — she holds one hand in front of her heart — “and she was wearing generic boots. What the fuck is that, with the Payless Shoe Source generic boots? But YOU, oh my god, YOU! YOU ARE AN ANGEL!”
I wasn’t scared, she wasn’t hostile. She was right up in my face, clearly drunk, I could smell it. She wasn’t aggressive, I took her hands and released them from my shoulders and sat down on the bench. She kept talking to me, reaching down to touch my hand or squeeze my arm.
“Do you see that man right there, I’m going to marry him.”
There’s a quiet guy, on the other bench, and he looks at me with a sad smile.
“Do you believe in love at first site? Because that’s what happened to me. I met him, I fell in love. I’m going to take his last name. Sancho, Sancho,” she turns to him, “Sancho, mi amor, what’s your last name? He wants me to slow down, ” she’s turned back to me. “But I love him, I want him to love me back. Look at him, he’s handsome and I love him.”
All the time she’s reaching in and touching me on the hand, stroking my arm, like a flirt, but not, just gently asking for my attention.
“Did you see her, that blond? I know I’m ugly, I have upside down eyelids,” she points to her eyes. She is not ugly at all, she’s actually quite lovely, but so drunk. “But she didn’t have to be so mean to me, with her big owl and her generic boots. She was scary. You came off that bus like an angel, just like an angel. You’re a fucking angel. Look at you.”
Last week, while I was on the bus, a woman in a full burkah, only her eyes showing, got on, followed by a hipster boy wheeling a bright yellow unicycle.
The bus is full of freaks and magic.