A Cardboard Box

I was taking the 64 home from downtown St Paul a few years ago. It was a cool, but beautiful, spring day. The sun was shining, but it was still cool enough to require a jacket. I had transferred from the 94 at Cedar, and a few blocks later a gentleman boarded the bus, clearly intoxicated, and carrying a cardboard box. He paid his fare and made his unsteady way up the aisle, taking the first forward-facing seat. I was keeping an eye on him, wondering if he would start in on crazy-drunk-guy-on-a-bus antics. He sat quietly for a few blocks, so I went back to my book.

A few blocks later I noticed that he was fumbling around and opening a window. Since it was really too cold to have the window open, I knew he was going to puke. He leaned over toward the window to cool off. Crisis averted? Temporarily. After a bit, he closed the window and sat up straight. Then the gagging began. Followed by the retching. The folks sitting near him recoiled in horror. But as I mentioned before, he was a perfect gentleman. All of the barf went right into his cardboard box. And when he was done, he sat quietly with the box on his lap. He was still sitting there when I got off. Through the back door, natch.

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