August 29, 2005

This is not a melancholy post

I’m not sure when I got on the bus. Probably five years ago, give or take. The past all clumps together for me like a long ribbon that’s balled up in a drawer. I couldn’t tell you if I boarded the bus under my own free will or if I was pushed. But here I sit and there seems to be nothing I can do about it.

This is how I see life much of the time; through the bus window. It is how time passes. I’m removed from the actual experience. I’m no longer a participant. My emotions are compressed, no great highs or lows. I simply watch as the bus drives along, never fast or slow, and never changing speeds.

I can clearly remember a time before the bus. When I actually lived life. When I had a burning need to go out, talk to people, socialize. I can clearly remember living my life to its fullest. Sometimes I can clearly remember the tiniest detail of an event. And how I felt. Alive. Vibrant. Bigger than life itself. I was once a character from every novel ever written. I could feel someone turning the pages, watching, completely engrossed in my story—just as I was. For the most part now, I can’t be bothered. I suspect I’ve been hypnotized by life. Keep your eyes on the watch…you’re getting sleepy...sleepy.

Mind you I’m not walking around with my eyes glazed over, slow and weary. I’ve got a spring in my step. I like a good laugh. I’m not depressed, on the contrary, I’m upbeat and I’m usually in a pretty good mood. And I’m not always on the bus.

Often I’ll find myself on terra firma, walking around like a normal person. It usually happens when I’m getting laid, or laughing. A lot of times I’m thrown from the bus by a random asshole that has run a shopping cart up the back of my foot in the cereal aisle. Or honked his horn at me for not making a right on red where it is clearly posted No right turn on red. I suspect these fuckers are the ones who opened the bus door for me in the first place.

I went through a McDonald’s drive-through yesterday at the insistence of the kid. And though there was only one vehicle in line in front of me the episode took twenty-five minutes. Two assholes in a Mercedes 600 felt the need to order a shitload of cheeseburgers all custom made. I could hear them ordering because they were screaming.

“No onions on two of them, and one with no ketchup. Now, on the quarter pounders…”

As they pulled up to the next window they were too far away and had to back up not once but twice, so that they could continue the transaction. Then they started unwrapping all of the cheeseburgers to make sure that each was just right. It was a painful experience. I was not on the bus for this one. It was happening in real time. My wife reached over and squeezed my hand, knowing that I was reaching the point of confrontation.

Eventually we got our shit and got back on the road. And once again I boarded the bus and took my seat.

A little farther from the door this time.

Posted by Paul! at August 29, 2005 09:19 AM | TrackBack

I really love this post. Thanks for taking me "off the bus" for a few minutes!

Posted by: Fritz at August 29, 2005 06:36 PM

I was on the bus for quite some time. I talked to the driver when it was in motion and they threw me off.

Posted by: Jim at August 31, 2005 09:57 AM
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