The bus driver keeps telling us, “Move back to the rear.”
But no one is listening, people plugged in
with their white earphones, their bluetooth headsets
singing and talking to no one, but loudly.
The driver’s not going to move unless we retreat further into the bus.
I can’t go anywhere, pressed against a heavyset man wearing a backpack.
I’d rather walk, but it’s 30 degrees out and windy. No one wants to move,
did I already say? We finally go and at Calamus Street, I almost crack up,
literally, like Van Gogh, my head almost splits in two. Forty people
cramming to get on and we’re already 10 over quota. Everyone’s a critic.
I’m a critic at 7am when I just want to get on the subway, get a seat,
go to work to make my money and pay my bill. ‘It boils down to bills,’
my dad used to say. Boiling bills, we work to pay and we pay
to work, but not really in that order always, though it seems so.
Oh the subway, we finally make it and people are pushing and shoving
and It’s no goddamn race someone yells. People come to blows at 7am,
did you know? Have you ever witnessed two elderly women having a slapping
fight? A homophobic man reapetedly yelling FAGGOT FAGGOT at the top of his lungs
because another man bumped him? It’s not too pleasant
traveling among strangers, among that energy. No wonder we plug in,
pretend we’re alone, horse blinders protecting us from the universe.