LA Buses

Because I had no car when I attended college (and trust me, I didn’t miss out) I took buses to explore the city. The thing was I lived in LA, which doesn’t have the best bus systems in the world. But I’d always have a story to tell after every time I rode one. I’m not sure if I attract attention because I sit in the front in my scooter, but there’s been a time when a psychic tried to read me while the bus suddenly stalled. Especially the bus driver who tried to work the engine was annoyed, except an elderly woman with a walker who sat next to me, staring. When she asked me things about my scooter like how much it was and when I got it, I didn’t think much of it. I was used to the elderly asking me questions like those. But then she asked me when my birthday was and that’s where it went all downhill.

“I’m a psychic,” she said.

It’s not that I hate on psychics but I’m not really interested in getting readings, especially in a bus full of people who can hear all about my personal details. I just attempted a chuckle to be polite without answering. I was almost going to say that I didn’t know before I caught myself thinking how stupid that was. It didn’t matter that I refused to supply her with an answer. She went on to say things like I had a strong aura and weird, general statements supposedly about my life. I cringed. Suddenly then, someone yelled.

“Ma’am, I’m going to ask you to please be quiet,” demanded the bus driver. Praise all the LA bus drivers who remain sane and calm in doing their jobs, seriously! Ours was on the phone trying to get help to see what was wrong with the bus. He said that he couldn’t hear from her disruptive talking. “I’m just talking to this lady,” the psychic replied, coolly. She was adamant in arguing that she was doing nothing wrong and had no idea that she was aggravating the bus driver by talking back to him. When it seemed like the arguing was going to spiral, the bus suddenly came back to life. I soon discovered that it also didn’t have to go much to reach the woman’s destination and the whole time I faced the opposite direction, staring out the window and pretending to be sleepy. Before the psychic left, she told me to come visit her and handed me her “business card,” which was really a small flyer. When I arrived home I read: “Many beautiful actors and models come to me, dissatisfied with their lives. They have the riches and the fame but not happiness. Come to me and I’ll help you figure it all out.” I gave it to my friend, not wanting it back. The next time when I talked to another elderly lady was someone who was just an ordinary senior, warm and kind. Our conversation reached an unexpected ending, though when she advised me to have fun in my 20s by slutting it up more. “Meet more guys, drink more!” she exclaimed. I was a bit taken aback but not offended. Me offended was reserved for a man who once blatantly sneezed on me without an apology. I felt the wet spray of the bacteria-infested sneeze landing on my hair, making me scream inwardly. A man also sat in my scooter when I once sat on a bus seat to sit next to my friend a couple rows back. I didn’t say anything, though because he was an elderly, but I also never transferred off of my scooter the next time I took a bus; frankly, it was dumb of me to have done that. Encountering homeless people and those who suffered from what was most likely schizophrenia (a lady once sat next to me with a hospital wristband on, chanting where the jelly beans were) was something that was a given. Sometimes I’d be scared to take a bus and relieved to ride in a friend’s car instead, but I’ve learned that LA buses show you the side of life that tend to be ignored and avoided, treated as if it’s an abject. Thankfully, nothing seriously dangerous or harmful has happened to me and it’s reminded of such an obvious fact: we’re all just trying to get somewhere and it doesn’t have to elicit me freaking out or being overly disgusted. We’re all really just trying to get from point A to point B.

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