Thursday, March 23, 2006

Don't Sleep on the Bus

[The commute from the Bronx takes the form a fairly long ride on a fairly cushy Express Bus. I usually fall asleep within minutes of sitting down. Today I did not.]

#1.

Still in the Bronx, I look up at a stop and see a fairly well-dressed, middle-aged Italian guy talking on his cell phone, and walking a pit bull on a length a yellow nylon rope. A woman walking two small dogs comes around the corner, and the pit bull immediately goes into a kind of freaked out, legs locked, "don't get me any closer to those horrible pomeranians" mode. Guy on phone doesn't notice. He also doesn't notice the nylon rope curled around his foot. WHAM. He goes down head first, laid out on his stomach. I look over, Tara is asleep. Camera? Camera? Camera? Shit. He gets up, pissed off, still on the cell phone. The pit bull is completely freaked out and the guy gives a half-hearted little kick in its direction. It crouches low. He misses. He gives another kick, with even less behind it (quarter-hearted?), that doesn't even come close to the dog. The bus pulls away.

# 2.

In Spanish Harlem, I look out the window at a light and see an old, fat Mexican guy and a young, fat Mexican guy sort of squared off to fight. There's always that half-second where one thinks, "Oh, they're screwing around." These two are not screwing around. Young guy goes in and lands a few punches. Old guy pulls his red cap (no writing or logo on it) off his head, and tosses it to the ground (I briefly have an "American Beauty" plastic bag moment as it twirls to the pavement). He swings at the young guy. Pedestrians swerve around the two guys as if they were handing out leaflets. I look over, Tara is still asleep. Camera? Camera? Camera? Shit. The bus starts moving. I crane my neck and see the two of them swinging.

[What have I missed in the past by falling asleep? What if none of this actually happened?]

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