An interesting ride home on the 862 bus

Yesterday early afternoon, after perching myself into a cramped seat on one of those extra long buses, I found myself surrounded by – for lack of a better word – scary guys: young and belligerent sounding, yelling and high-fiving each other each time the bus passed a familiar street corner, “Hell yeah,” which sounded more like ‘heeyal yeeaya,’ after which they would settle for about one second before launching into luridly cruel descriptions of how many people they’d beaten or stabbed or shot on that particular corner. More Heeyal Yeeayas as a prelude to more descriptions of how exactly each of them had ravaged certain women and what they’d threatened to do to their infant children: “I’d take that kid and dump ‘im in the oven, how’s that for child abuse? More Heeyal Yeeayas.

I was trying to concentrate on Dickens’ Bleak House during all this, but was cognizant enough to notice a slight erosion of these guys’ crowing (they really were like a bunch of roosters crowing to each other and anybody who was nearby). As the trip entered into the final quarter hour, the subject and meanness of their banter changed from descriptions of how bad-assed they were to one of parenting. “Goddamn, you really gotta check out those daycares. You don’t know what the heeyal’s goin’ on there – lotta freaks sometimes.” “Heeyal yeeaya!”

Each of them finally exited and I was left to learn about Mr. Jarndyce, et al, while I laughed and snorted to myself.

If I’d have driven, I would have been deprived of all that.

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