“Ya dim wit!”
The image of that wrinkled old man uttering those exceptionally insightful words still pops into my imagination every once in a while. I’ll see him hunched over on a bus, maybe even staring at me from across the aisle in lecture a few times a week. I was pretty alarmed at first; that was a few days ago, but now I’m just accepting the frightful fantasy.
I thought the dude had disappeared. I hadn’t seen the bastard around every corner I rounded in nearly three weeks. And then, poof, he was back within the blackened shadows of my mind. Great, I thought. Shove in another shady illusion for me to shake out of my already-cluttered hippocampus.
Had the bus ride been that influential? Andrew didn’t seem that affected. Wait, he was the genius who pulled the damn emergency handle. I didn’t touch that red menace, but all those downtown-bound passengers didn’t care – they stared at me. It was like I had ripped open a kilo and started snorting.
I was supposed to be sick though. That’s what I thought a few hours before I found myself perched upon one of the hard plastic seats aboard the infamous 24x. Destination: Downtown. Reason: “Uh, fuck it man. We’ll figure it out as we go.”
Thanks Andrew; your words changed my outlook on life, but I’m sure the hits we took before our afternoon adventure aided in the experience. But forget it, nothing I inhaled before that moment mattered. My focus remained fixed on the sight of my friend clinging desperately to an entire window hanging off the side of the bus.
All he wanted was some fresh air, not a huge fucking window to hold up while everyone shouted for the bus driver to handle the situation. Come on, black, red – you know you could get them confused.
I thought he had it though. For a good fifteen seconds, Andrew clenched the perilous safety device, preventing its potential plummet upon the pavement. But I saw it start to slip, and the bus began to turn a corner.
Andrew leaned further out the windowless void. His fingers left their final prints upon the monstrosity’s smooth surface. It was too late. I tried to stand up but there was nothing I could do. It would be shards in seconds.
That was until I heard the familiar screech of county-financed brakes.
Remember back in elementary school, when you would sing songs on the bus about windshield wipers and those damn wheels that always went round and round? Well, I had forgotten what prompted me to sing such falsified rumors – the only bus drivers I can remember smelled like that week-old sandwich you accidentally left in your back pack. They even looked like it sometimes, too – so when I witnessed the driver outside, running toward our side of the bus to fix the problem, I couldn’t help but hail his occupational dedication.
Mr. Bus Driver stretched out his hands and slammed that transparent baby back in place in no time. And I thought angels had wings.
Then that old fucker had to ruin everything.
From a few rows behind Andrew and me, came that same groggy, mucus-laden tone, “Ya dim wit!”
I wanted to punch that white haired, diaper-wearing son of a bitch the second I turned around to see his fearsome mug. Who the hell did he think he was? If anything, Gramps was lucky Andrew didn’t pull on his window – the Santa Barbara wind would have caught that frail, ninety-year-old frame and sent him flying out onto the street.
But I wasn’t exactly looking to send random Depends-users to their demise at the moment – I was purely concerned for my embarrassed friend.
“You alright man?”
“Yeah Jeff. I just wanted to get some air.”
“I know man. I guess next time you shouldn’t pull the red one.”
Then I remembered that Andrew was colorblind. And I had just been sitting there.
Daily Nexus assistant opinion editor Jeff Gibson is two years removed from his last bout with Depends.