The fare box.
It is the place for passengers to pay the amount due for their short ride to their destination.
That is the only purpose it was made for but we being the grand human beings that we are with the great ego needs embedded in our genes have turned that positioning in the front of the bus into a cheap entertaining traveling Vaudeville sideshow act and so much more……
For the attention starved teeny-boppers who seize every available opportunity to dwell on center stage with absolutely no shame, it is the perfect place for a captive audience.
Bus operators, although never the sticklers to always adhere to the proper rules, are told never to move the bus until all of the passengers are standing safely behind the yellow line, it’s a rarely executed but mandatory action that even the regular riders are aware of if not only for the safety aspects.
Young girls who are eager to put on display the estrogenized adornments they now possess that were definitely non existent the summer before will take their sweet time paying as they feign not even knowing how to swipe their prepaid fare card even though this very time consuming and selfish ritual in narcissism is costing everyone precious minutes to either get to work, home or some other important destination.
Their fare card never seems to work properly when they are dressed in revealing fashion. But during the week when they don’t have a new hairstyle and dressed in their “regular” clothes, it always seems to work JUST fine.
Upon entering the bus, these vain chicks seem more interested in gazing into the bus to see what potential male attention ( or female, this IS 2009 my friend!) they can snatch while they begin to dig for their coins, bills or fare card, something that they could have already had ready and in hand especially since most often they enter the bus complaining loud (Its center stage remember?) In a confrontational manner for all to hear, stating how they had to wait for over an hour and how I need to rush them to their destination as though I don’t have a tight schedule to follow!
Its all about them as they take their sweet time dropping their coins in the fare box making SURE that the passengers get a good view of what the winter has done for their developing bodies. Some will even purposely drop a coin or two on the floor in order to be forced into bending over, either to show off their new weapon of a cleavage or their well rounded derriere that has somehow been shoved into a pair of jeans three sizes too small.
Some will swear that this observation of mine is a figment of my imagination but take it from me, sitting in THAT seat for eight hours a day will give you an insight into the human mind that other means of employment just can’t!
If you ride the bus please notice next time as you approach the bus stop how uptight, tense and stiff certain individuals are holding themselves. Not everyone. But notice the various displays of body language as these soon to be bus riders prepare themselves for the short ride that’s yet to come.
I myself can tell what is most important to a person by how they adjust themselves before boarding. For example, the woman who feels over weight or conscious of the girth of her waistline, will always hold their hands over their stomach or pull their shirt down over their stomach as though you don’t notice that they may be a little overweight.
But does it really matter?
Not really. But we humans put so much emphasis on “looking right”, I couldn’t tell you the amount of times I overheard a woman on her cellphone thanking her girlfriend for doing her hair for her BEFORE she had to make her appointment that day at the beauty parlor! Doing your hair at home BEFORE going to the beauty parlor?
Well to be honest, maybe we ought to adopt this tactic in the other facets of our life if we make such an effort to show up at the hair salon with less naps per square inch before getting it fried, dyed and laid to the side.
Maybe those of us who call ourselves devout Christians should act holy and loving ALL WEEK before we make it to the service on the weekend where we definitely put on a display of divine all consuming love! Heck, it works for the hair salon why not for your life?
Looking over the field of regulars tonight I notice an older gentleman who is more of a character than anything else. Why do I say this about this man? Well, most of my passengers who ride this particular route into the Black middle class Richmond Heights section of Orlando are well versed as to what this mans story is, even if I had to find out the hard way…..
I first noticed this man (To whom I’ve secretly named “Bozo”) about a year after I had been driving this particular bus route. I have been on it now for a little bit over three years and realized this man “flew under the radar” because he had his own slimy agenda in his mind.
He is in his late 60’s, about five foot four inches tall, of short stature but has some pep in his step. He is bald on the top with gray hair on the side and the back, meticulously trimmed but I’ve always wondered why he never cut it all off, he is a serious candidate for the Bozo the clown look-alike contest with a hair style like that!
His style of dress is strictly blaxploitation 70’s, a throwback to print shirts unbuttoned to the navel with cheap gaudy jewelry, rings on every single finger as if it were some odd living tribute to the old pimps of a flamboyant era long forgotten and gone by. A character in his own right, if you gaze at his outdated “Huggy Bear” styled stride long enough, you can almost feel the beat of those old classic eight track songs that I am quite sure still resonates beneath that bald dome.
Every night that he enters my bus it’s the same routine, before he enters my bus he makes sure that the person in front of him in line pays their fare so that they are out of the way so that I have a full view of him as he takes his first step on board. I always wondered to myself why was it important for him to make such a grand entrance and why did he make a point of making sure I observed it? Time will tell I thought but tonight as he came on just like all other nights, he locked his eyes into mine and approached slowly with his fare card in hand……
Only breaking his gaze momentarily to place his fare card into the slot, he would now stand only two feet away from me as he slowly swiped the card through the slot forcing me as the bus driver to be a captive audience to this sick ritual while he stared all up in my face!
I wish he would gone somewhere and sit down! When the card finished swiping the fare box would make an audible beep, he would then hold the card up in some type of victorious fashion for a split second in suspended animation while he stared into my eyes once again before sitting down. This man had to be crazy!
While he did this the passengers who were already seated would be heard giggling as if they knew of a secret that I was unaware of, how correct my assumptions were. When I would see him coming at later occasions, I would look straight ahead and not even look his way although that creepy feeling would still come over me when he would enter my bus.
After a few months of this, whenever he wasn’t around, some of the ladies would tease me and ask if I “missed my friend?” I’ve come to find out that this old man had a little sugar in his tank and had “a thing” for me! Dang! Why me? Now I was the butt (No pun intended but maybe the wrong choice of words here, LOL!) of their many jokes!
They told me that he really DID have mental issues and was let go from the military on those terms although he was still taken care of monetarily by them because his supposed psychological issues were very much real. He lived with his mother, who happened to be well over eighty years old and closer to ninety, and had a day that consisted of going to the Fashion Square Mall on route 50 here in Orlando. The shopping mall every single day? What was the point for some old dude to go to the mall every day when he obviously had not one bag in his hand indicating SOME kind of purchase?
Well my regular passengers would eventually tell me the story, the joke was just TOO funny to keep to themselves and I damn sure wanted to find out what this nut was all about! LOL! Anyway, they ( a group of hard working neighborhood women who ranged in age from their twenties to their eighties) told me that as he got out of the military he was supposed to purchased a house with this male lover of his who was much younger than him. The money was forwarded to this young dude even BEFORE Bozo came out of the military to buy the house of his choice so that when he came out they would have a home that was completed and furnished.
Well it was common knowledge in that particular neighborhood that Bozo, when seeking to pleasantly surprise his “mate” came home one month before the expected time only to find his so called “lover” in the arms of a naked man as he peered through the back window of the house! From what I heard he really flipped out! I mean, he was already having mental issues already but this incident definitely sent him over the edge!
The police were summoned and the rest of the story as told to me had fifty different versions to it. But what IS agreed on is that his former philandering younger gay lover now worked AT the very mall that Mr. Bozo visits everyday. Bozo was even banned from going to the mall by the police many years ago but now sits at a distance in the food court staring toward the establishment where his ex-man works in. Day in, day out. Week after week and month after month.
Now Bozo makes sure to find himself downtown to get that bus to Richmond Heights that departs at 8:45. The problem now is, he hides from the other waiting passengers who are waiting for my bus to arrive……..I’ve seen him standing behind poles, sitting down ducking behind other people and generally remaining elusive. All of this, to not been seen by me until he stands there in grand fashion to enter my bus!
He ALWAYS sits behind me so he can listen to my conversations with the other passengers and stare at me as I drive in the window’s reflection. Unbeknownst to me, he has amassed quite a bit of information on me personally over the years as it all came out when he approached this older woman that just exited the bus and punched her in the back before demanding to know what we were whispering about in the front of the bus while I was driving.
This kooky man was harboring some type of fantasy in his mind all of this time and got jealous when this older woman who works in one of the Disney area hotels for talking with me discreetly in front of the bus before she went home!
I heard that she tried to take his head off but didn’t call the cops because she knew he was crazy and she knew his family! But she told me the next day that he called me by name to her and mentioned some things about me that showed he had done his homework in investigating me and my private life through hearsay.
Scary stuff isn’t it?
You just NEVER know who is stalking you or not as they could be operating RIGHT under your nose! And it’s those quiet ones that you have to watch out for! Not only that, he is just one example of the tricks that people execute when trying to find an angle into knowing more about you whether it’s from actually being attracted to you or from just being downright nosy which is the case the majority of the time!
Let me share a few with you…….
You will have the lady who sits in the front of the bus who acts as though she is talking on the phone and making sure I can hear what she is saying until her battery “dies” out on the phone that she is talking on. She will make an attempt to act as though she is trying to hear the other party on the other end, but to no avail, it gone, the phone call is over. What will she do then bus ask me, the friendly neighborhood bus driver, if she could use my phone to retrieve the very important information that she couldn’t get because of her abruptly dropped call.
“Of course she could!”
Being the gentleman that I am! But what was the big joke on me was when she dialed the number and “person” that she was trying to reach, it was actually HER number that she called from my phone so that SHE would now have my number locked in HER phone!
Slick stunt isn’t it, please, don’t try this trick at home!
So that explained the multitude of the late night after dark erotic moaning, grunting and groaning that would come through on my phone after hours! Many of those prim and proper “decent” acting passengers of mine were raging beasts under the facade of “normalcy!”
You see, what I have learned in this life is that there IS no so called “normal!” Normal is a place that we meet with everyone else that contains an expected behavior that is generally acknowledge as being acceptably civil.
But after the job is over and we’ve punch that time clock, the freak in us comes out and we can’t really count on WHAT will be revealed when we dig a little deeper into what kinkiness lurks deep in the minds of those who ride the public bus here in Orlando on my “typical bus route” or in YOUR city, when the truth comes out you will ALWAYS be surprised as to just WHO might be sitting next to YOU!