Bus 38 from Webster to Powell

As part of my immigrant experience, I decided to blog about my ride on this bus. So last week Thursday after my Easter dance rehearsal at church, I boarded the bus 38 heading back home. As I got on it, an African American guy, probably in his early 40’s had a boom box in his back pack and had flooded the bus with the music of the ‘Isley Brothers’ . He had made a conscious effort to stand as there were available seats. The music was loud and he sang along, “whose that lady……. Who…s..e that ladie……. Sexy lady…….. Who…..s..e that ladie…….”. He seemed happy and in a zone but was snared at by the disapproving eyes of other passengers who would steal glances and the look away with a frown. I must admit though, I did enjoy the music and he had a really nice voice. I sat close to the back rows , not too far from him. The bus made a stop and a group of eight tourists hopped on. It was obvious that they were visiting because they all had their one day pass. They were couples and older people perhaps in their sixties and 70’s. They occupied the middle section of the bus and wouldn’t go to the back even when there were no more seats in the middle and still empty seats at the back. They looked at the singing man, and then back at each other, some smiled , some growled and one of them began to move to the tunes but no one went to the back. Two of them stood and held on to the poles.

Nothing could top what would happen next. For this was drastic and would make us appreciate the pleasure of the man who sang his heart out to us.

The bus made another stop and a scruffy elderly man walked in , didn’t pay and sat in the vacant seat right in front of me. Suddenly , seconds after he sat, the air was filled with a rotten smell like the foul odor of a million rotten eggs. I tried to breathe but I could not inhale. I stood up sharply and practically ran to the front of the bus because my lungs were gasping for air. The singing man stopped and began to curse, “Gad dammit! O my Gad!!!!! What”. Other passengers began to move to the front as well as we proceeded to open the windows. The man looked like a destitute. He sat in a calm composure and quietly infiltrated the bus with his pungent offensive odor. Another lady who was also lucky enough to make it to the front looked at me and said, “first the music and now this terrible smell” ,I responded with a gentle laugh. The singing man got off at the next stop. He jumped out as soon as the doors opened and still continue to curse loudly from the side walk, “Gad dammit…….”


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