Honest Conversation Is Overrated
Actual Human Interactions Witnessed Or Overheard
In Twentieth And Twenty-First Century America
In Twentieth And Twenty-First Century America
As I walk out of my house on Sunday afternoon, I find a scrap of paper on the ground. Being curious, I pick said piece of paper up. It says: Today is your lucky day. It was, evidently, not written by a prophet.
Further down the hill, a car swerves about three feet away from me at a rather alarming speed. It is passed by another car going slightly faster. The two vehicles swerve around each other a couple of times before one of them slams into the side of a building. The driver gets out and begins shouting a variety of well-chosen obscenities. Combining curses in such a way as to point out his fluence in profanity. "You cockcunting mother-doucher! I will...I'm gonna cut your blenderfucking neck off!" But the car he's yelling at is nearly out of site.
"You get him!" Cries one of the many people pouring out of the projects to take in this lovely matinee. "You hunt that cocksucker down and you kick his faggot ass!"
I debate shooting a disproving look at the probably homophobic rantist, but the car that sped away had been a purple Jeep, so the odds were good that the driver had sucked his fair share of cock. I have no way of knowing whether or not he ever fucked a blender.
"That shitsucking spermcicle cut me the fuck off a mile ago. Fucking dingo-raping maniac." Says the man who'd smashed his car into a building. I have no way of knowing whether he ever had sex with a dingo, or whether that sex was consensual.
"That piece of garbage!" Shouts one of my many, lovely, fellow Americans, from the throng of rubberneckers. "Y'oughtta kill him."
A few Hell Yeas ring out behind me.
Seeing as these are, clearly, not my people, I decide to quit gawking, and make my way to the nearest bus stop. I am followed by a Puerto Rican guy with dyed blond hair. He is wearing a tank top. Not one of those sweat-stained, hair-encrusted, man-boob accentuating tank tops, but one of those ab-defining, slightly-too-not-enough-short tank tops that renders someone incredibly fuckable, even if they don't look like a blond, slightly older, version of your boyfriend. Perhaps, it is my lucky day. My dick starts pulsing.
I am too busy not noticing him to notice that the evil 66 bus is pulling up to the stop. I reach the bus just as the driver shuts the doors. I knock on the door. The driver looks at me, and smiles. The bus drives away. Slowly. Cockcunting mother-doucher.
"I hate the sixty-six bus." Says Mr. Tank Top. "It's like it's programmed to show up at the least convenient times. And the drivers..." He lets the sentence hang there, as he pulls out a pack of cigarettes. "I fucken hate the drivers." He scratches the back of his neck, exactly the way Ben does when he's trying to pick up men.
My brain starts pulsing. "Yea." I say.
"My name is Kevin." He says, and shakes my hand.
Kevin. Kevin Kevin Kevin. I like the name Kevin. Kevin, who looks like Sora, which is sort of a plus, but who behaves like Ben, which is sort of a minus. Kevin whose voice reflects at least five years of Marlboro Reds, which is a plus, but whose clothes smell like at least five years of Marlboro Reds, which is a minus. My cock and my brain start fighting for blood.
I introduce myself.
"The schedule says there's twenty minutes between busses today. I figure that means we've got, what, an hour to hang out before the next one arrives." Then he scratches his neck and smiles. Is he actually flirting with me or just making conversation? "Crazy car crash, huh?" Establishment of event we experienced in common, accompanied by flirtatious smile, and inability to keep eye contact, penis pulls ahead of brain.
"Yea. I don't know which was crazier, the guy who crashed the car, or all those people who kept egging him on."
Kevin laughs. "I know, right. Do you smoke?" He is offering me cigarettes. My testicles perk up and start shouting Get him! This might just be both my cock and my brain's lucky day (probably not so great for my lungs, though).
"Not very often, but you're smoking my brand, so, sure." I smile. My cock is now miles ahead of my brain.
"Got a light?" He asks.
"I am the light, what you seek is fire." Fuck, now I'm stealing shitty mack lines from wannabe slam poets. I must be starting to like this guy.
Kevin smirks, then pulls a matchbook out of his pocket. "I'll take that as a no."
God, I think, he even smiles like my boyfriend, which is immediately followed by oh, right, I already have a boyfriend. Sort of. My brain is starting to catch up.
He lights my cigarette first. "Did you actually see the accident?"
"Yea," I say, "The purple Jeep almost hit me. It swerved around the silver...car...and then the silver one swerved around it, and then, well...you saw what happened after that."
"Yea." Stop saying yea. "I still can't get over all the people who kept telling him to hunt the guy down and kill him."
Kevin snorts. "Fucken niggers, all they understand is violence."
My brain and penis crash into my skull and zipper, respectively.
Kevin appears to notice this. "I'm not racist." He says. "But, you know, most of the crowd came out of the project buildings. So...I'm not saying they're niggers because they're black, but...you know...what kind of black they are."
I've heard this argument before. Anyone who thinks that defining themselves as a classist as opposed to a racist is going to win my favor, can go the fuck to Arizona.
I drop the cigarette, and put it out with my foot. "The bus is coming." I say, smiling. "Looks like sometimes the 66 does show up at convenient times."
Kevin gets off at Coolidge Corner, mumbling a weak "later" on his way out. I keep riding to Allston, where I stop in at the comic book store to harass my boss. Then I cross the street to print out some poems for slam rehearsals. Naturally, I've left my computer access card at home, and don't feel like dropping cash for a new card. This is not my lucky day, after all.
As I wait for the bus, an older lady, carrying a Trader Joe's bag, saunters up and starts small talking me. I reciprocate, not really saying anything of value.
"Thanks for being so friendly." She says, as the bus approaches. "I thought you looked like a good person."
She is probably a serial killer. I say this, not because she gives off creepy vibes, or because only serial killers think I'm a good person, but because I think she's a good person, and I'm a terrible judge of everything. Hence, Elvis. Hence, six months in Arifuckenzona. Hence, my brief attraction to Tank Top Kevin. Had he not just been some passing stranger at a bus stop, we probably would have moved in together, later adopting a Sudanese baby, who Kevin would try to raise to not be a nigger, leading me to separate from him, taking custody of the child and then moving back in with my mother, which is the worst thing I could do to the poor child besides leaving him with Kevin, and my adopted son will grow up to resent me taking him from one war front to another and then a third, until the day he has his eyes chewed out by an elderly lady who sort of remembers me as the nice guy she met at a bus stop in Boston decades ago. Poor Darius's life ruined because Kevin looked good in a tank top and smile.