Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Bus Report #707

I've been avoiding listening to the most recent episode of This American Life this week, because it's a tribute to David Rakoff, who died way, way too early on August 9.
But this morning I walked out to the bus stop, everything still damp and foggy and darker than it's been, and I put on my headphones and pressed play.
And while there were a few moments where I came close to crying, I didn't. Because while Rakoff's writing has always made me feel pensive, it is also so funny, and joyous and everything-good-affirming that I found myself grinning instead.

The bus ride was uneventful, even though the kids are back at school and all on the bus again after our collective summer break from each other. They look older, with new clothes and backpacks free of Sharpie'd scrawls.

I got out at my usual stop and got my coffee, 'hi'ed the regulars, and crossed the street by the garage.
A couple wandered down the block, the man a few paces ahead of his girlfriend, who looked as though she'd been crying.
Her face was blotchy and pink, her hair in a messy pony tail, jeans hanging off her ass exposing sheer black tights over white underwear, the tights laddered near the top.
And then, just as I was joined at the curb by a tall man in a baseball cap, the girl began to wail.
If a sound could rip the sky in half, it was this one.
She wailed, a deep, primal, yet also curiously high pitched sound, and she tripped over her shoes trying to keep up with her boyfriend.
The man in the baseball cap and I exchanged looks but didn't say anything.
The girl was further away from us now, but we could still hear her - moaning now, and crying, punctuated with an occasional shriek.
The man in the baseball cap said, "I feel bad for all the abused women."
I nodded. "Yep. I hope her day gets better," I said.
"It won't," he said. "Until she gets rid of her man."


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