Mixed feelings on the 19

So the guy had gotten on while I was listening to music, and by the time I pulled off my headset he had found a seat and lowered himself in it, a little sheepishly.

It soon became apparent that – for unknown reason – the driver and the rest of the bus  did not agree with moving on with life as usual, not as long as the kid was on board.

I began to look around for clues as to what was going on, for someone more peeved than pissed who could gift me a quick summary of events in a single short phrase, not like the drunk next to me, who complained loudly and inaudibly at the same time, inviting  the new passenger to disembark because something to do with wasting everyone’s time and fucking idiot.

Then I saw the young ripped guy outside, wielding a baseball bat and jumping bouncing up and down to see the passenger through the window, to make sure he saw the bat and that he heard the case, the trial, the sentence.

The case had to do with either a stolen girlfriend or stolen goods (‘from an elderly you bastard’). The trial and the case seemed to be muddled together, but the sentence stood out in all of its complexity, and involved:

1 – either the bat guy or the bus driver having called the police,
2 – the passenger future inability, no matter how long into the future, to walk around the neighborhood unmolested,
3 – the bat’s mysterious power to achieve justice through “beating the black out of you”.


It was hard to tell if there was – other than that remark – racism involved. The guy, who seemed the most relaxed person on board, began changing his shirt, while being wagged a finger at by a raucous old man, who kept yelling him things like “you’re wasting our time” and “do you think we all want to stay here and wait”, you know the kind.

What if the guy really had robbed an elderly… but, beating the black out of him… that  turned the tables in my mind. Then everything looked like it was racist after that, even the old man’s exhortations to “get off the bus and face the music”…




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