In college, I usually took the bus home on holidays. The ride was only two hours and it was usually uneventful.
It was almost Christmas, and the bus was exceptionally crowded. I took a seat on the bus by a window, put my bag on the seat next to me, and did my best to look invisible.
Just as the bus was about to leave, a tall gangly man with scruffy blonde hair asked if he could sit next to me. There were no other open seats on the bus, so I had to say yes.
Scruffy liked a good conversation.
Scruffy: Weed - it should be free for everyone.
Scruffy: You know, the government secretly spies on us with satellites. That’s why I don’t have a cell phone.
Me: Is that so? I never knew.
Scruffy: I just moved here from L.A. There are some cool people there. I was the freest man I know. I had a van.
Me: Why did you move back to Wisconsin?
Scruffy: I don’t know. By the way, have you ever dropped acid? It’s amazing.
Me: No, I haven’t.
With each passing minute he inched closer and closer until the plastic armrest between us was nothing more than a metaphor.
Scruffy: We could move back to L.A. together, you know. I still have the van. It just needs a new engine.
Scruffy: You’re real pretty.
Finally a very large man in a Green Bay Packers jersey sitting behind me taps (ok, smacks) Scruffy on the head and says, “Leave the girl alone already, man!”
Scruffy says no more and gets off at the next stop. I turn to my savior and said “Thanks, he was starting to creep me out.”
“No problem honey,” he says. “By the way, are you doing anything this weekend?”