Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Incredulity of It All

Beset by memories of yesterday, I might as well be blind to the present. Inundated  by answers not answers, to simple questions. The exchange one-sided, and more a projection of the answerer than the "answeree." 
The incredulity of it all, my own perceived notion, which lambastes my thoughts. The recollection of unalterated self-imposed handicap, with irony mixed in. For example, can someone claim they were "poor," when they, in the end acquired a masters degree and at least was able to attend high school,  didn't sleep on dirt floors, or had more than one pair of underwear, or had more than one meal per day, or, or, or...?
***
All interrupted by smell. Instead of odor derived from glands, portrays itself as heavily doused cologne with a thread of sodium sulfide. The bus is like this. The hammer against introspection.
The "offender?" Male, pale green polo, jeans, carefully styled hair, stares insipidly down at his electronics; all the while erupting SBD's. [If you're unaware of the acronym, then think back to elementary/junior high. If still unaware, then I've already wasted too many words on this parenthetical.] He shifts over, creating a sort of makeshift sardine can arrangement. The comfort level increases to abundant levels. When I look ahead, I am witness to many empty seats. It's time to sigh, grit my teeth, and count to ten.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Where the Wind Blows Gnats in the Face

"Wow! That's a nice screen saver you have there," I said, pointing at his desktop monitor.
There was a photo of the latest Mars rover gathering samples on the brick red surface of the planet.
"Yeah, that's from my brother-in-law. I like space stuff."
"Did you hear about that ion propulsion where you could shorten the trip to Mars to forty days?"
"Why would you ever want to do that?" he asked in superior tones, adding, "-such a waste of resources..."

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Every Morning Is the Same

Every morning is the same. 
I approach the bus shelter, breathing in the moist air. There is a chill biting at the ends of my fingers. Grumpy Old Man (GOM) hobbles across the street in mock haste from the opposite direction. The canopy is how it usually is: trash strewn in all directions with the refuse container in the middle of it all. It's a picture. At first, that's all it is. Then it registers yet again, likened to a waterfall whose pour is mysteriously not heard until that proper moment. It is a portrait of replete irony. Perhaps I delve all too deeply into these things. They appear as simple implements during the path of life. However, I cannot help myself to think there is a certain asymmetrical symbolism to it; synonymous to the culture of what we've become. 
"C'mon!" GOM yells at the oncoming bus. Its slow acceleration thorough the stoplight not to his liking. When the coach finally arrives, he shuffles over in front of the bus doors and peers inside through the reflective glass.
"Another different driver," comes the per diem declaration. 
Every morning is exactly the same.

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Ill Use of a Chefs Knife

The light is dim. Yet, as always there's someone here in sunglasses. At this present time, I sense that the eyes behind them are observing me. My intuition is confirmed, since I am able to discern two dark orbs staring in my direction. I get the feeling that he thinks I don't know, or couldn't penetrate this "impenetrable" shield. Yet, the reality has won out. Then, the original question returns. If it is dim, why wear sunglasses. Is it like Bono? Bono, who claims eye issues. His reason may be legitimate, but this guy, I don't think so. I might as well accept that root cause will dwell in the realm of mystery and speculation.

My observation moves onto the now-present. The bus is now pulling into Westlake Station. The confines are filled to the brim. 
The driver gets on the com and asks, "If folks could get down and get a little tighter!"
There is minimum resulting movement. A mere trickle works their way into the bus. Standing room only, body heat, steam on the windows, the smell of papers, the sound of ventilation fans with an accompaniment of electronic devices. Rain splatters against the blacktop against a gray backdrop. At least, this is what the window tells me. Then I am reminded of the micro-cut on my left cheek left by a jaggedly torn fingernail. It's jagged from the ill-use of a chef's knife, and torn from God knows what. 
At least it's Friday.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

An Encounter with a Singularity

A long-haired dude with "Manson" eyes, an old bespeckled woman in a blood-red long coat, a man with frosted ponytail and a fedora, and finally an apprehensive yuppie sitting in the handicap seat: all are riders never before seen. Perhaps I am too much of a newbie myself, the gray coated lanky one folded behind the articulation. What is new anyway? If one is old, but they're suddenly in a different place, do they become new? It is would seem so, in this day and age, and most likely for all ages. This is a quirk of human nature, no doubt.
Perception again becomes reality. Consider the converse, which in every person, there are the years and experience embedded within them from the time they entered this scene we call, Earth. Each has been at life, day by day, until such the time as the present. The present time, at which you or I intersect he or she. Us, each with our own unique story, also living each of the planet's rotations, but by bit. These intersections can be found to be extraordinary if we allow ourselves a moment to reflect upon them. What are the chances, given all the aggregate of moments that these random people came together in this one place at this singular point in time? 

Image courtesy of www.physicsoftheuniverse.com

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Thoughts of Wonder

A dark evening with a backdrop of pinpricks through walls is the scene that greets. I miss the sought-after route by mere steps. It might as well be the Grand Canyon now. I hop on another that requires a transfer later. In frustrating fashion, forward progress is delayed by coaches ahead. It is not apparent as to the why, only the what. Moving ahead then stopping almost immediately is what follows. A huge load enters, as if none of this route has come for eons and eons. Arabic seems to be the language of choice tonight, ladies and gentleman. Ahead of me, behind me, and to the side, it fills the innards. All others are quiet, for they read words on their devices of electronic means. Some are books, and others the news, no doubt about those happenings in the Middle East, which never ends it seems. Just yesterday it was said that the leader of ISIS called on all Muslims to wage war worldwide against "Jews, Crusaders, and the Devils." 
"Erupt volcanoes of jihad," he says.
When one reads an instruction like this, aboard a bus, where Arabic is spoken almost exclusively by those who speak, that one cannot help but have thoughts of wonder. Thoughts of wonder which turn to the said instruction, and if in fact any of that sunk into these speakers' hearts. -And if indeed if those words did sink into their hearts, would those words perhaps manifest into obedient action? Many in this country would call such "thoughts of wonder" preposterous, paranoid, or even prejudiced. The establishment might even, with vindication, consider this particular thinker bigoted and racist. The thinker realizes this and buries these thoughts deep, and the guilt settles in, embued by the societal altar of political correctness. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

a product of experience, or something innate

Yes, there is the root of my demographic, a European mutt. For some reason, the Irish or German components decided to manifest themselves more than any of the others. I find it a curse mostly, the freckles and blue eyes for instance. They offer no resistance to the Sun's rays. Fifteen minutes, that's all it takes the burn the shit out of me. Then, there's the Sun's brightness, which the eyes seem to reflect extra light back into the retinas. This causes momentary blindness when looking directly at sun-illuminated white concrete. Afterwards, everytime I blink I see that square of concrete there, branded into the backside of my eyelids. 
Then there's this demeanor that I possess. I'm not sure if it is a product of experience, or something innate. Like here I am on public transit, yet again. Yet again, at least ninety percent of the time, I see passengers look me in the eye and hustle away. They avoid my presence,, I know it, I sense it. I care not, one way or the other. I am simply stating an observation that's repeated itself many times over. I wonder as to the why of it. As someone that makes a living at observation, be it of the animate or inanimate, I feel that I have enough practice to validate this hypothesis. 
For example, picture a car in your mind's eye. It is traveling in snowy and icy conditions. There are other cars oncoming. A traffic light up ahead goes from yellow to red. The car in question is a little too close to the intersection, so the driver must press firmly on the brakes. When he does this, the car begins to go into a spin, since there is a slight imbalance in the calipers, from one side to the other. The other cars, the ones oncoming swerve to avoid, dart around to miss that car. 

It's just like that.


Friday, November 07, 2014

When Mortar Rounds Land About the Place

A man and a woman hobble slowly through the darkness. The man encumbered by a giant old fashioned lunch box, and the woman by a smoldering cigarette. When the bus arrives late, I feel compelled to let them on first. They both disappear somewhere aft as I take a row front of the articulation. I am seated behind two others. One, a lady with thinning hair atop, her pinkish scalp visible as the ferns from a recently logged forest hillside. The other is a man, head bent down over something, presumably electronic. A woman enters downstream dressed in an ankle length red raincoat and seats herself next to the latter.
"Hello Peter," she shouts to the man as she takes the seat next to him.
"Hi!" he says in equally atrocious volume.
They continue a conversation, sharp and loud. Another woman wearing glasses enters the scene, followed by a white-haired gentleman. They all know each other. I get the impression that the woman with glasses is the "glue" that holds this cliche together. She is the only one that speaks to the whole group, and it's the whole group that talks to her. She is the conduit, most of the time anyway.
I am again sat next to by the voracious eater. She glanced at me the same way again, made a beeline for my aisle seat, and proceeded to root through her bag for the Tupperware full of food (I have yet to figure out what it is).
The pace of eating is much more relaxed contrasted to a few days ago. 
My thoughts are interrupted by the previously mentioned man with the sharp voice. The quality of which assaults like concussions from mortar rounds landing about the place like a rain of terror. The whole ride possesses this recurring theme. For instance I learned that a "he" dog was spayed, in harshly announced tones, making me mentally wince.
Next time the ear buds shall be inserted firmly to seal out the the prolific onslaught of absurdity.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

the tree that falls in the desolate forest

In the bus tunnel. Someone sings in desperation to catch a stale sitting light rail train. Some of the geriatrics amble from it slowly towards the escalator appearing like recent airport travelers. Lots of people milling about, waiting for their ride to come. A route 41 arrives, taking forty percent of these proletariat, then a 77, then another 41, and finally routes 76 and 74. Through it all, two pleather-jacketed males pace to and fro with suspicious countenance. I keep an eye on them through the peripheral. An older gentleman stretches his calf muscles, between me and them, using the wall as a leaning support. 
After all this, it all starts over. There is a lull, a quiet dwell. The yet another 41 comes with a 550 right behind it. The two pleather males stay in-place. They remind me a little of Jay and Silent Bob, however they're both incredibly small-statured. 
A 71 pulls up going toward Wedgewood, and it is here that they finally give up their loitering position.
What am I still doing here? One might ask.
I catch the very next one. I don't choose the seat equivocal to this morning's. It seems to be guarded by a stander that looms by the backdoors. Someone sits behind me. They just had a smoke, or two, or three. I sense a restlessness there. It doesn't last long. He removes himself and waits to disembark at University Street. It's surprising to see an anticommuter here like this, especially post "Free Ride Zone." The elimination of which has decimated their ranks amongst public transit. For someone who writes, it's bittersweet. -But then, for someone who writes without anyone that reads...it's the tree that falls in the desolate forest. 


To Reside within the Interior Realm

It's one of those new articulated buses. It's a hybrid-electric, harder and more durable seats, more handlebars, and lower profile. The driver however, is the same. I wonder as well, being at the start if everything else will be a "déjà vu" experience. As yesterday, I see identical patronage thus far. -And yesterday as well, where this one bespeckled woman quickly glanced at my overall shape, decided that I was a safe choice, then had begun to eat out of a Tupperware with the gusto of a sumo wrestler. On the other hand, she appeared naught. She is not here yet. I only sit here in suspense at my own making, if I shall indeed witness a repeat performance. 
Currently, there are not many passengers. All are very occupied, mostly with electronic devices. Some busy themselves with books, or a zipped sandwich bag of crunchy snacks. I direct my eyes out the window and notice that we have stopped in a "downtown area" of a local neighborhood. This is where the voracious Tupperware eater was found to be yesterday, with no Wednesday appearance. 
Ugh oh. I suddenly have the urge to place my pack on the aisle seat adjacent. I sense an "anticommuter" stumbling down the aisle way, replete with bike helmet and a splotchy red-dyed beard.
These thoughts are interrupted. A woman unexpectedly sits next to a male-suit within the articulation. Her voice is sharp as she insists on conversation. I've never been one to be amiable to this sort of thing. Except for a select few, I would rather reside within the interior realm.
At the first stop downtown, the resident "anticommuter" rings in an intention to disembark. He goes out swiftly, and the backdoors close behind him. Some commotion in front with new passengers ensures. A young kid emerges out of his reverie with a start. He bolts upward toward the closed backdoors. 
"Backdoor please!" he yells up to the bow of the coach.
No reaction.
"Backdoor please!" again and again resonates within the confines.
More and more bus occupants join in the verbal salvo. The engine roars to life. Frontward progress is detected.
"No?" the boy asks the air in front of him.
"BACKDOOR PLEASE!" a chorus of passengers sing.
The bus jerks to a stop.
Finally, the doors open. 
I hear one man say, "A group effort, heh heh."



Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Not Worth the Bits of Cyberspace

I notice that the ultra-fast driver is back. He blasts out of the bus tunnel like a rocket ship achieving escape velocity from Earth's gravitational pull. It doesn't take long for me to pick up a row-companion. He is an odd one of course. I hardly attract normalcy. In my periphery for instance, I mistake him as wearing a hat. However, when I happen to glance to my left out the window, it's a mop of an afro splayed into a thousand different directions. He sits dead-still, as if he had just met the gaze of the Gorgon Medusa. His satchel is clutched in the three-pronged clench between his arms, legs, and trunk. Everything important to his life might exist within those confines. I wonder what he sees through the thick horn-rimmed glasses directed straight ahead. I'd bet fifty bucks he's a code writer. 
Just as abrupt as he arrives, he departs. Like a robot, he charges to life and stands straight up within the row. How odd, how very odd it is. With militaristic intent, he extricates himself to the aisle, then eventually out the rear doors. All that's left of his existence within this time and space is a smattering of words not worth the bits of cyberspace they're written of...