Friday, February 25, 2011

Adventure in Friday Evening Bus Riding




I’m all decked out in vampire slayer black on one of the hottest February days in New Orleans, and of course the sun is bearing down on me while I stand at the bus stop. It’s 4:35 and the bus is scheduled to arrive at 4:40. The sun I can deal with. The old geezers ogling me while I stand at the bus stop, no!

There is always a group of people congregating on this corner. Every now and then I see a female, but most of the time its men. Some of them I suspect are retired and have nothing better to do, but the rest are unemployed, disabled or just lazy. This afternoon all of them are drinking beer and the youngest in the group must be about 40. A couple of them have walked past me once or twice, smile and then go back and sit down on the seat on the side of the building where I’m standing. And even though I’m wearing dark sunglass I’m not blind so I do see one peeping at me from around the corner. Needless to say I want to bus to arrive on time. Yippee here comes the bus.

Its parade season here in New Orleans and it’s a Friday evening which means there are probably three or four parades scheduled to roll. This also means I’m going to catch hell trying to make it home from the east bank of the Mississippi River where I work to the west bank where I live. I have to ride two buses. So we make it to Canal Street and I get off the first bus and walk a block to the second bus stop. First of all they are filming a movie on this street and they have turned off the traffic lights and they are blanking red in four directions. I have to get across this street without getting hit. Luckily they have stopped the traffic coming from the left. So I make it across the street and hope the second bus will be able to get through. There are a lot of people milling about and police directing traffic. It would be much easier to just close off the streets and re-direct the rush hour traffic, but no, they want to do things the hard way.

The bus arrives and we board. The police have stopped the bus until after a scene is shot. Well, that’s good for the director and the actors but I am ready to go home. After holding us for about fifteen minutes they finally move one of the police cars and the bus turns the corner. Of course I look out the window to see if I recognize any of the actors. No, they are all dressed in black trench coats and it looks like either it’s a gangster movie or a vampire flick. In my head I’m wishing that the sun is burning up their behinds like it did me since we were all foolish enough to wear sun-absorbing black today.

So now we finally get on our way and I pull out my reading glasses and my book, but actually I’m concentrating on the two guys who are probably going to be staring in my next book. Let me set the scene, or introduce the characters. I have been riding the bus with this one guy for a couple of weeks now and have actually had a conversation with him. Even though it seems that I’m reading I am totally aware of what’s going on around me on the bus. He always manages to sit on the same side of the bus I do, maybe a seat or two away. And every now and then he sits across the aisle from me. Occasionally I catch him staring at me. Maybe it could be my imagination. He’s not exactly the kind of man I’m usually interested in. He’s tall, blond, has green eyes and has an average size build. He’s not hero handsome but he has an okay face. I guess his age to be in his later 30s or early 40s.

Character number two – I’ve also been noticing this young guy every evening. His blond, thin to the point of anorexia, but not a bum or a street urchin. He’s usually dressed like he works in an office, and he can’t be any older than 20. I would say 18 but I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt. The first thing I think when I saw him was that he’s would be a perfect semi character (Semi is the more feminine male character in a manga), because of his lithe build. I never noticed him on the bus with us before, but two days ago he gets on with the other blond and of course my imagination just went wild. They sit next to each other and then I begin to wonder if they are gay. The two of them get off the bus together and I think if they’re not gay they could possibly be related because of their hair color, but my instincts tell me that this is not the case. Yesterday morning the older one gets on the bus, but I don’t see the thin one (at first). Then I see him crossing the street and walking back in the other direction like he walked the older one to the bus stop to see him off to work. So if he’s gay, then why is he staring at me, I wonder. Maybe bi-curious?

So today, I notice a third blond. This one is in his twenties too, but more stockier and attractive than the other two. He’s carrying backpack and he’s sitting next to the other two on the bus. A possible ménage? Maybe! Or maybe he’s just a friend who lives in the neighborhood.

A young black woman walks past them to get off the bus and I notice that the older one is checking her out. A young Hispanic woman gets up and walks past him and he doesn’t give her the time of day. Hum, gay, bi-curious and he has jungle fever. Okay, I can work with this.

I forget about them for a minute and the bus turns on Poydras where we run into obstacle number 2. There are police officers and food vendors everywhere, setting up for the six o’clock parade. Oh gawd, let me get across the river before all this stuff start rolling. Traffic comes to a halt. Fifteen minutes later we turn on Convention Center and I’m praying that they are not moving the floats out of the barn and blocking up the streets. Fortunately, this does not happen and we make it to the bridge. We run into obstacle number 3, the same scenario on the west bank side of the river…another parade. We only sit in traffic about five minutes while they block off the entrance to the interstate ramp.

My suspicions are confirmed. The three blonds get off at the same stop and walk away together.

Now there are some other things going on aboard the bus. It is crowded with Hispanic and Haitian women who work in the Central Business District. And believe it or not, I can hear them talking rapidly and loudly while I’m trying to read and trying to listen to my MP3 player. I have the volume up so loud that it’s hurting my right ear, but I don’t lower the volume because JYJ is singing, “Be the One,” and the song is too good to turn down.

I must note here that I haven’t seen stinky cutie in a couple of days. Maybe he’s given up bus riding or he has his car fixed. I still can’t believe I’m still looking for him every day. Maybe I have a death wish. For those of you who don’t know who this is, he’s this really cute Korean guy that I noticed about a week ago, but he had B.O. which is a total turn off for me. I mentioned him in my blog last week so if you want to learn more you have to check out that blog entry (Every Man is not a Hero).

It is about 6:30 when I finally get off the bus, walk the three or four blocks to my front door. I open the door and hear “Maw Maw,” above the MP3 player song I’m listening to. Its number one grandson and his baby girl from hell sister (Loving known as Adrian and Autumn). I haven’t seen them in a couple days and they are there with their father who is putting together the new television stand and television. Autumn is entertaining me with tales of McDonald’s chicken nuggets she just ate and hadn’t saved for me. She makes up by giving me a plastic muffin from her tea set. In return I got the honor of giving her a Popsicle.

The mini monsters start arguing over the desk top computer. He wants to play games on Nicholodean and she wants to see the Willow Smith’s video on YouTube. Finally their father takes them home fifteen minutes later. I jump into the shower, fix myself something to eat and sit down to Twitter.

A new Korean girl group, Bella is rocking EnVogue’s, “Don’t Let Go.” I don’t usually listen to the girl groups, but I can give mad props to them for this song, and for the fact that they are balancing themselves on some stellar high spiked shoes and boots. And then finally Super Junior M, has a new mini-album. Well, looks like I’ll be investing some of my hard earned cash in two new CDs. Now it’s time for me to write.

Chat with you later.

Imari Jade

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