Bus Ride 2017

Sometimes the characters on the bus form a coherent narrative. Last night’s cast I can only categorize loosely as “Not sure what’s going on there.”

First there was Leaner, who may or may not have been a homeless guy. He was pretty grimy, but had an expensive looking bike, and a dayglo yellow jacket with reflective tape. He walked his bike slowly to the bus stop sign, and bent forward at the waist until his head was nearly touching his ankles. He remained in that pose, drawing with his finger on the sidewalk, and either humming or groaning intermittently.

Then Moves showed up. I recognized him from the night before: a tall, slender, baby-faced gay guy, with a hypervigilant look, as if he were a secret service person assigned to guard (someone?) Last night he had worn a black motorcycle jacket. Tonight it was a dirty wifebeater with baggy camo pants.

The bus came, and Leaner manged to get his bike onto the rack on the front of the bus. He chose one of the front middle-facing seats, and folded himself neatly in half. Moves took up a position near the middle of the bus. Moves does not sit.

The woman who had been sitting in the front seat opposite Leaner got up and stood talking to the driver. “The President made a wonderful speech on television,” she told him. “There were thousands of reporters. In the debates, they gave all the questions to Hillary Clinton.”

She returned to her seat. She had one of those folding carts that people sometimes use for laundry, lined with a black trash bag. Beside her on the seat was one of those two-tiered cat climbing things, covered in beige plush carpet, with rope-wrapped scratching posts supporting the tiers, and a blue plastic ball dangling from a string beneath level two.

She stared at leaner,and began to advise him to move to a different seat. “Sit back here, you’ll be safer. You don’t want to fall,” she told him. “The bus company doesn’t want a lawsuit.”

Leaner sat up and squinted long and hard at Trump lady. I’m okay,” he said. She continued her admonitions for several minutes, and he continued to squint at her inscrutably, possibly considering his legal options, before resuming his doubled over pose.

Trump lady sighed. Her frown was replaced with a euphoric smile, as she said to no one in particular, “So many jobs staying in America!”

She called to the driver:”Can you tell me when we get to Wayne? I’m supposed to meet my friend there.” She plopped the cat climber into her cart.

But when the bus got to Wayne, she told the driver,”Never mind; I don’t see my friend. I saw her earlier in Hollywood.”

Just before I got off in Glendale to wait for the next bus, she was back up next to the driver. “I should tell Trump about the parking. And Target. When you call customer service, they send you to the Phillipines.”

Moves also got off at the same stop I did.I wondered if he would be practicing his moves tonight. Sure enough, just like the night before,he stepped into one of the recessed entryways of the little storefronts, and was at it. I can’t decide if it’s some martial art, some form of dance, or mime. But Moves is very dedicated.



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Constance Hutcheson

Constance Hutcheson


Old lady who lives in California, refinishes furniture for Hutch Vintage in Los Angeles