Monday, March 13, 2006

The unfortunate outing of the lady on the bus

She got on the bus with voluminous effort, hoisting one elephantine leg at a time up the two step entry. Her dismay shouting from her eyes, she fumbled with her fat hands, and with some difficulty managed to unclasp her shiny black purse to take out her bus pass. She flashed her pass to the driver and took two of the first three seats inside the door, the middle occupant having slid to the third in horror. (But she didn't notice this part.) Her face was tired and full of hope given up. There were two deep creases between her eyes giving her a perma-vexed look. She brushed her grey and black bangs from her eyes and exhaled a long sigh. She took notice of a sensation below her breast and absently poked at it and scratched. Then she licked her finger and annointed the spot with a bit of her saliva. She made a quick scan of the bus occupants and I caught her gaze for a moment. I had my Jesus face on, shining with compassion. A small bead of sweat trickled from her temple and she fumbled again to unclasp her purse. She jammed her taut sausage fingers into the bag and seemed to be stirring the contents as with a baton. Her newly found frustration was getting the best of her and she lifted the purse and jammed her hand to the bottom, held it out in front of her and shook it violently while she peered into it sideways. Then her face changed and she mumbled, "Ah" and a small smile spread across her lips. Nodding her head and smiling, she unzipped the side pocket of the purse to retrieve a tissue with which to wipe her sweaty face. She dabbed herself about the forehead and cheeks clearly amused with herself for having forgotten, almost chuckling to herself. Then she had her used, wet tissue in her hand, and like a very small child, and I mean very small, she looked into the air up and to the left, a nowhere point, and slowly slid her coconut fist to the side and dropped the tissue in the crack next to the seat. It fell and tumbled a couple inches into the aisle. Then the attention came back into her gaze which did not have the scope to see the used tissue on the ground. ( Her rotund frame provided ample blocking of her sightline.) She let out a big satisfied sigh and turned to look out the front window. Her body jolted and she gasped. She pushed the button to signal her stop and she turned back into miserable, frustrated woman, rising from her seat (again with great difficulty) and trepidatiously stepped off the bus, having missed her stop who knows how many stops ago. I watched her from the back window as she slowly crossed the street to wait at the bus stop on the other side, black cloud and all over her head.

17 comments:

Snooze said...

I love the theatre of public transportation.

nongirlfriend said...

Wow, very descriptive.

The Wisdom of Wislon said...

You're good at taking things in, feel sorry for the woman.

St. Dickeybird said...

I feel sympathetic for such an unhappy person. Then I lose most of my sympathy for dropping her used kleenex on the floor.

Jason said...

Public transportation is always interesting.

_Psycho said...

I'm so bad at writing, I would tell the same story in 2 sentences ;)

So you have a Jesus face ? Good thing I only saw the poker face yet ! Nice story still !

Anonymous said...

It is wonderful how a person can evoke so many feelings all at the same time, without ever speaking. Wonderful story telling, I felt like I was there. Have a happy day! Devo

Holly said...

it really, really sucks to be fat. i can totally empathize there. (although, i really really can't empathize with the littering)

Lee said...

Brilliant prose, you.

:)

Lyvvie said...

Another reason for dieting.

and can we see a picture of you with your "Jesus face on, shining with compassion." I really want to see the expression so I can tormet the kids when they have tantrums.

Dantallion said...

Sad, really. But beautifully written, T.

Em said...

Nice. Sad, but nice.

Sister Staceypatrick said...

Wow - you've just reminded me of the joys of the daily commute I'll have to look forward to when I start working again!

Chunks said...

I can't get over your attention to detail! What a sad story, but you told it so beautifully.

Stink Foot said...

Dear Tornwordo, elegant to say the least, I wish you and em would write more of the same. Have you ever written about an outing to the laundry mat?

madamerouge said...

I'm with St. Dickey.

jjd said...

i enjoyed this greatly as a fellow people watcher myself.