I tried to move towards the door but found that I was stuck. I couldn’t lift the bags. So I dragged them by my side, slowly, incredibly slow. Outside my bus stop was two blocks away. Oh and it had started raining. And I was already sweating from the effort it took to walk out the store. Across the street I saw there was another bus stop (not my bus) but I decided I had to make some kind of attempt to get back to the apartment. So painfully I made my way across the street, food falling out of the bags, cars waiting for the nineteen year old grandmother to get out of the road, and soaking wet.
When I had arrived at Safeway an hour before there had been a man standing outside. He was scrappy and looked like he was waiting for something. I predicted drugs. That man was now watching me as I collapsed onto the opposite corner and more items spilled over onto the sidewalk. We made eye contact through the rain a few times, him forward and obvious, me cautious and creeped out and this continued for about five minutes until he started walking towards me. I was trying to decide if I should even bother dragging a bag along as I made a run for it when he approached and said, “Take this. Leave it against the fence when you’re done,” and handed me his umbrella. He then crossed back to the entrance of Safeway. I’m in love with that man to this day. As I watched him walk away I hoped that he wouldn’t get busted for his drug deal. (But that Jesus would save him, of course.)
I waited at the bus stop for forty minutes before bus #1 arrived. I won’t get into too much detail about how strenuous it was to get up those steps. No one helped me. It was awful and let’s not forget my arms are broken. I sat, no fell, into the first seat available. “Your bag is leaking.” I looked and there was a damp brown stain on the bottom of one of my bags. The soy sauce. I grabbed the bottle and the whole bottom half of the glass broke off. So now I was sitting out of breath with all my stuff sprawled out and balancing a soy sauce bottle upside down in my hand trying not to let it splash out as the bus turned and hit pot holes.
I think I was in shock from pain because I had a relaxing fifteen minutes before I realized I had missed my stop. (Why did I ever think I could relax?) I rang the wire above me and a quiet ding went off for the bus to stop at the next get-off. “There’s not a stop for another half hour.” The woman next to me said.
“What? Do you think he’ll let me get off here?”
“You could ask him.” She said.
So I leaned forward. Bus Drivers have always bothered me and this was no exception.
“Do you think I could get off now?!” I asked loud enough for him to hear me.
“Hmm I don’t know. It’s up to them. We’ll have to take a vote.”
What the heck kind of bus was this? I didn’t want a democratic bus! I wanted communism! I already had the oppression and now I wanted immediate and authoritative decisions. But I played along anyways. I turned and started to beg the whole bus with hand gestures and an obnoxious smile like some contestant from American Idol who pleads through the camera for you to vote for them. Except in this case I wanted to be voted off. The whole bus erupted in cheers. Literal cheers. “Yeaaahh!”, “Let her off!” “Give her a chance!” It was very loud. I’m pretty sure I heard a “no” somewhere in there too but it was probably from some bitter old guy in the back who secretly lives on the bus anyways so I didn’t care.
“Alright if they say yes, I say yes.” Everyone burst out into applause. The bus pulled over to the side of the road and I went through the routine of pulling my bags along behind me, the soy sauce precariously placed in one of them and stumbling off the bus as I thanked my many supportive fans. I stepped out, people still cheering, and finally I was half-way home.
Part 3/3 Coming Soon! It’ll be shorter, sorry for the length!
Erin Nicole x