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Punk In A Vest

We are in the throes of summer. The weather has been all over the place… inconsistent in its emotions, much like me. Humid and unbearable one week… Warm breezes, beautiful and tolerable the next… spliced with intermittent rain showers. Needless to say, I’ve been trying to make the most out of it. Getting around for the Free Cheap, and Fabulous… Jazz In the Park, cheaper than cheap happy hours, so forth and so on. … I’m making the most of it. Life is sputtering along in dips and waves, but I’m none too worse for wear. The hustle continues and living arrangements have temporarily changed. Different address definitely means a different bus route. … and so it is without much surprise that I relay how the hazy days of summer brings out the crazy in the masses. … Eyes are wild and body languages jerk with a frenetic energy, not unlike a Nijinsky ballet. …

Commuting from this particular route for the past two months has found me in uncompromising situations… From sitting across from a harried father wiping the putrid, seeping diarrhea from his sleeping toddler’s person on a stifling, hot, un-air conditioned bus, driven by a grumpy bus driving bitch, to last week’s showcase show down, where a drunken antagonist assumed the Karate Kid position, ready to take down featuring a long, braided, pig-tailed Snoop Dogg circa 1993 wanna-be; on a late, crowded, bus taking afternoon, ‘pon me returning from a gig I scored at yet another non-profit. … Once again I was in the middle… I was worried… I wasn’t pleased.

Scene: On a crowded bus, replete with standees… a stumbling man, with questionable dental hygiene plops down directly across from me, and spies low-budget Snoop Dogg antagonist. My assumption is that there’s bad blood between the two, because the older, unsteady gentleman immediately goes into hysterics…

I’ll fuck you up nukka! You’re just a punk in a vest!! I’ll fuck you up! You don’t know me!!!! You ain’t nothin’ but a fuckin’ PUNK IN A VEST!!”

Snoop Dogg Dude: “Nukka, shut the fuck up! I’ll fuck you up!!” So forth and so on…

Unsteady Pop-Pop: “You’re just a punk in a vest!! Don’t let these gray hairs fool you nukka!! You gon’ respect me!! I’ll kill yo’ whole generation bitch!!! You don’t know me nukka!”

This is all occurring whilst I’m inconveniently seated in the middle. Unsteady  Pop-Pop stands up, steps to Snoop Dogg dude, and is ready to fight. I, behind a mask of large, dark shades, curse underneath my breath… because if these two men go at it, chances are, I’ll be a victim of any and all residual punches and kicks due to where I”m seated.

The bus driver, A cute, petite, middle-aged Puerto Rican woman pleads, “Guys! Sit down please!! No fighting on the bus! I need you to sit down! You’re disturbing the other passengers!!”

The two adversaries are unmoved by the bus driver’s plea and continue to assume their fighting stances.

Finally, a tired woman, undoubtedly exasperated from work, demands that the bus driver pull over at a non-stop so that she can get off, because she is NOT feeling this shit and is not the one; “Bus Driver! Can you pleeeease… Just let me off NOW. I’m am NOT dealing with this!!  I wanna get off!!” she demands. Commiserating, the bus driver obliges… while nervously watching the two men in the bus’ rear view mirror.

Me? My knees start anxiously bouncing up and down. Clutching my handbag and pretend pearls, I’m registering where, exactly, my pepper spray is nestled, in case I become an innocent bystander once these two dudes start swinging. Fortunately, Unsteady Pop-Pop, who was not feeling the “punk in the vest” live and in effect from my generation, demands that the bus driver lets him off the Hate Ride, between Albany and Vine, because he feels his ire rising to epic proportions!

Without hesitation, she obliges him… all is right in the world of Connecticut Public Transportation.

I stop feeling around for my pepper spray and exhale …

Cross-posted at

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