People These Days

Theo Lowe


Sitting on a bus. I see a hyperactive woman outside at the bus stop. She's frantically searching her purse for something that she can't seem to find. She eventually gives up and gets on the bus. She sits in the front, far enough that my ears can't hear her clearly, but close enough that whatever comes out of her mouth can still hit my eardrums.


She has three rings on one of her hands. She taps her rings on the bars, and has a conversation with what appears to be an imaginary person. She makes some extreme gestures with her hands as if she's asking, "WHAT! WHAT DO YOU MEAN!?" The guy a few seats behind her pretends he doesn't notice and looks out of the window. The lady then begins kicking her legs in air, fighting off imaginary demons trying to crawl over her.


She puts her feet up on the two seats next to her and looks to the back of the bus for about a minute before she decides to get up and sit on the other row of seats. She grips the bars and asks the bus driver a question, but he does not answer, either because he does not hear her, or because he is paying attention to the road. Guess he should be paying attention to the road. He is driving after all. Just wish he would slow down, though.


Wonder if anyone else is watching her. Seeing the same things. Then thoughts come to mind, thoughts about what the other people on the bus are doing.


Wonder if anyone's looking this way. Not doing anything weird, but then again, that lady kicking at the front of the bus may not think she appears weird. Someone could be looking right over here and thinking, "Man, what's that guy up to? Is he watching that lady? What a weirdo."


Nah, that's not happening. Is it? No. It's not. Yes? No. No.


Maybe? No.


Then again, what if everyone else on the bus is acting just like that woman? They could all be back there moving around, whispering to one another, kicking and punching at invisible monsters and wondering why that guy in the glasses isn't helping them. Get up, ASSHOLE! HIT SOMETHING. THEY'RE EVERYWHERE.


Look back to see if that's happening? Nah, don't look back. Because if they are actually doing all that, things are going to get weird. Weirder. Nope. Nope. Don't look back. Just keep those eyes facing forward and feign ignorance to this ridiculous brawl going on.


Okay, scratch all that. None of that is happening. This woman is just doing her own thing, and there's not some sort of group effort to fight off invisible monsters. That would be silly. So very, very silly. Maybe that woman just woke up this morning and thought, "Man, know what would be funny? If a person got on a bus today and acted crazy! Bet if a person did something like that, some weird college kid would look at the spectacle and decide to write about it in class!"


Man, it's time to get the hell off this bus.



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