Coming To A Bus Stop Near You

Bus drivers should never carry a spare dose of their anti-psychotoics.  This way,  passengers get to experience raw comedy and terror at the same time.  It also gives people like me something to write about.


Journal 02/28/09 (revised 5/21/19)=


The following tale from my crypt is a true story:


It was either the early summer of 2000 or 2001.  I had just left my home at approximately 5 a.m., food and other supplies intact, my destination being the Cleveland Zoo.  I arrived at downtown Akron at around 6 a.m. After my long wait, I was finally aboard an Akron Metro express bus at 6:45 a.m., on my way to downtown Cleveland. I was nestled quite comfortably in a silky padded seat while perusing the local newspaper. I was relaxed and in good spirits.  Perhaps too good.  I was not thinking of the gaping maw of differences between the docile  Akron city bus drivers and the Cleveland bus drivers.  I am a small-town girl at heart and ultra-sensitive.  I tried living in a big city once, and I didn't care for it.  But visiting a big city for a few hours was a small vacation for me.

Until I met him....


There I was in crime-free-drug-free downtown Cleveland.  The time was close to eight in the morning.  I was waiting at the bus stop finishing my cigarette when the Jack Torrence of the Cleveland Metro line pulled up to the curb, at the helm of a huge metal relic that looked like it had survived the mass extinction of 65 million miles ago. Everything seemed okay when I first boarded the steel brontosaurus, for about two minutes.  As I brushed by him, his jittery aura was as visible to the naked eye as a gathering of giant killer fleas hopped up on crystal meth.  I told him that I needed help getting off at the right stop, since I didn't know the city too well. He didn't seem to have a problem with that.  I was sitting behind him and he started mumbling something I couldn't understand.  I leaned forward and said  "I'm sorry, sir, did you say something to me?"  I think the word "no" was his reply; the sound of his voice was somewhere between a grunt and a growl. As time passed and passengers were getting on and off of his bus, I heard him shout "Asshole!"  I thought that perhaps a passing motorist was either flipping him off or a vehicle was cutting in front of him.  About five minutes later, I heard "fucking asshole!" coming from the driver's seat,  then several rapid successions of "Asshole!" and some other nonsensical word.  I looked over my left shoulder and out the window, then turned slightly to the right to see what passenger or motorist he was talking to.


NO ONE. He was talking to NO ONE.  


The guy was all to himself at the steering wheel. He was repeating these insane mumblings intermittently.  At one point I asked him if I was getting close to my stop. I thought he would just wind up saying "asshole" again; but he assured me that he'd let me know.  I couldn't figure the remaining contents of his crackbrained chatter; he could've been reciting the Tourette's version of the Gettysburg Address for all I knew.  After about twenty-five minutes of his recurring demented dialogue, I was starting to get scared. One did not have to be Einstein to figure out that the driver was no longer on earth:  He was now in deep space clinging to the Voyager probe, headed for the next solar system.  I was waiting for him to croak out the word 'REDRUM!' but he didn't.  Since the driver was no longer on this side of the universe, I was afraid he would forget to drop me off at the right stop.  And, HE DID.  Just in a nick of time--since I'd written down the directions roughly before starting the trip, I frantically called out to him" Sir!  I think that was my stop!"  He apologized,  then jammed the breaks which scared me even further.  Good thing I didn't get a sprain in my neck.  I couldn't help but fret over who was going to be in the driver's seat on the way back. Surprisingly the driver was quite courteous to me, telling me to have a great day at the zoo as he dropped me off just a few hundred feet away from my intended stop. But the REAL zoo was sitting in the driver's seat.


Then he just drove off into the morning sun and I never saw him again, that sweet little schizoid man in the beautiful bus driver suit.


Fran Hinkle

Original 2/28/09

Revised 5/21/2019

View scorpiodominant's Full Portfolio