I then walk the five blocks to the bus stop and wait.
The crazies are always there; they don't take a day off. There's the staring lady, the moon-the-bus guy, the yells-random-things guy and the ask-for-change crackhead, and sometimes a surprise guest.
Then there are the 'normals' who are also there, waiting for the bus; the think-you're-looking-at-him-when-you're-actually-looking-for-your-bus-number narcissist guy, the openly-evaluating-your-outfit lady, the loud Cantonese speakers, the talk-on-the-cell-phone-about-personal-things girl, the stands-too-close-to-you lady and the impatient bouncy dude.
And then there are those who fall somewhere in the middle.
Are they on drugs? Are they mentally ill? Are they just extremely socially inept? Who knows?
One of those was on my bus today. A real winner.
Oh yes, he was gangster to the max. You know how I could tell? He had baggy pants, a big hood on his jacket and he listened to the rap music. Also? He was shout-rapping along with his iPod.
You read correctly: shout-rapping. It was top-of-his-lungs shouting things like "YEAH" and "UNGH" and all kinds of swear words and really super cool rhymes that I tried hard to ignore. It was beyond obnoxious. It was extreme rapping, y'all!
I was reading and listening to music and could actually do neither because I was so distracted by all the shouting. And it's not like he didn't know he wasn't alone; it was a pretty full bus. And he was sitting in the very back.
"RAP RAP RAP SWEAR WORD SWEAR WORD RAPPING SOME MORE SO LOUD"
Finally someone did the ol' turn-around-and-glare passive aggressive move. Well, that was what he was waiting for the whole time! He jumped at the chance to challenge the guy to a fight.
"What? What? You wanna fight? Let's go, bitch. What'cha looking at bitch? Huh? Turn around. You got somethin' to say son?"
"Yeah, shut up."
He said it! He said what we were all thinking!
Well rappy mcrapperson was incensed by this provocation and shouted back all kinds of swearwords and threats and was not deterred.
"You shut up. BITCH. Why don't you go back to listening to your music?"
Well, the bus hero was not afraid of this punk's bad attitude. I was though. I phoned Ryan so he could hear some of what was going on. And be a witness in case we were all killed by this ridiculous tough guy.
"I was trying to," said the bus hero coolly.
"What? What'd you say?"
"There are twenty of us up here and I guarantee they're all thinking the same thing that I'm saying."
"Fuck you, man."
Then another guy turned around. "Shut up"
And another. "Yeah."
And that was when I turned around because I just had to have a look at this p.i.m.p. who deemed riding the Victoria public transit gangster enough to grace it with his presence. And it wasn't scary anymore because everyone else was turning around too! 20 against 1!
"FUCK YOU BITCH." Ah shit, he was glaring right at me. I smiled and waved and turned back to my book.
He didn't stop rapping for four more stops, but now it was interspersed with various insults and curses directed at some of us as well,. And then he shouted and swore his way down the aisle. I met his eye as he went down the stairs and I didn't break eye contact; it felt as though I were trying to bring on an attack from a bulldog.
He was younger than I expected. He had a spiderweb tattoo on the back of his neck. And he was hiiiiiiiiigh as a kite. His eyes were glassier than the bus windows.
I hope when he straightens out he remembers being on a bus, shouting at strangers. I won't forget what he looks like. I hope I see him again when he's not on drugs.
Even though he was gone the aggression made the last 20 minutes of the ride home tense and uncomfortable for me, and I assume everybody else who sat through that. It's unfair to everybody for one person to be so disruptive and threatening. I wish I could say this was the first time I've had a bus ride like this, but as a matter of fact I can think of four other very recent occasions where I felt threatened and/or disturbed by other passengers.
What ever happened to 'social grace' or 'consideration'?