Tuesday, March 22, 2011


I have decided to go on a journey, but not for some time. Irregardless, I am preparing now.

I borrowed Lester's giant hiker's backpack and filled it with library books. I looked out my window and saw more gray than blue and so put on a sweatshirt. The walk to the library was rough. After only a few minutes my back was aching and my steps had smallened considerably from when I first set out. Once I arrived through the large wooden doors of the museum of human existence, I unstrapped my backpack and sat on a chair in the foyer for a full seven minutes.

After the break I went straight to the computers to post my new poem and to print out a few of Flannery O'Conner's short stories. I stapled them together and the librarian gave me a plastic grocery bag for me to put them in.

I knew I wasn't about to walk all the way back home so I opted for the city bus instead. Luckily, I had eight quarters in my pocket and the bus only costs six of them. At the bus stop, I took my backpack off and set it beside me for the wait. I held the plastic bag in my hand. A young man in a black coat sat on the bench. I stood and shivered. The outside was a lot more cold now that I wasn't walking. The glass barrier inside the bus stop helped a lot by blocking the wind. I shuffled my feet to and fro. Nine minutes passed and I began to spin slowly in place. A young man with a scrappy, almond beard, accompanied by a young woman in a ponytail walked into the bus stop. They both had vacant eyes. "Hey guys, how's it going?" the man asked. The man on the bench remained soundless as I slowly rotated around. The man with the beard looked at me and said, "Wassup?"

"Wassup?" I returned.

"Oh, you know, just barely gettin' by in these times."

I nodded and continued my rotation.

When I was no longer facing them he said, "I'm just trying to help this lady out. She needs to buy diapers for her kids, see."

Again, the man on the bench remained soundless and I felt the two extra quarters in my pocket. I wasn't going to say anything, and besides, by the time I had spun completely around again, the couple was gone.

By the time I made one more circle, the bus was already pulling up. The man on the bench stood up and walked to the curb as I placed my plastic bag on the bench so my hands were free to strap on the backpack. I lifted the pack and swung it, eying the bag and the bus as the same time. The bag was on the edge of the bench, slowly tipping forward. The bus doors swung open. A man ran from out of nowhere to board the bus. Just as I got my arm through the second strap the bag fell on the ground, spilling the packets of stapled papers on the floor. I bent to pick them up as the two men paid for their tickets on the bus. Once all the papers were gathered, I straightened up, and the bus pulled away. I ran and waved my arms, but it kept going. I cursed the man from the bench who knew I was waiting, but said nothing to the driver.

There was no way I was waiting again for the next bus sedentary so I started to walk around the block. Once I turned the corner, the couple with the eyes were there, walking towards me. When they were close, the man tried to be more direct. "Hey, can you spare some change?"

"Well, I need the bus." I fished the quarters out my pocket.

"I can getchya there."

I imagined some scam where he would take me in his car to a secluded back alleyway where he would beat me and steal everything I had on me. "No, uh, I will just take the bus."

"No, I mean, I can get you on the bus." He puled out his wallet. "I've got a pass with two rides left on it." He handed it to me.

I looked it over to make sure it was what he said it was and handed him my full stack of quarters. Now, I was penniless, but if the pass worked, I would have saved two quarters next time I needed to ride the bus.

After another fifteen minutes in the cold, my body angled forward under the weight of the backpack, another bus came and I was ready for it. The couple was long gone. Aboard, I put the pass through the scanner and it worked.