Yesterday was a twofer.
The first wacky encounter was in the morning. A bus was running late, so a bunch of us got n the next bus going the same direction. An elderly gentlemen, looking to be in his mid to late 60s, a regular, sat across from me. However, he was not the only one. The entire bus was packed. About half way through my ride, I noticed that he leaned back kind of funny, and put one hand in his pocket. This while I have a book up to my face, which is a pretty good disguise for people watching. So the guy reaches pretty deep into his pocket, and across the front. Really deep. Uh, oh. He’s not looking for any spare change, this is pocket pool.
Pretty soon his actions became a bit more animated. He was playing first string for all it was worth, and all the while staring off at another passenger. I looked to where he was staring, and realized he was looking at someone I know. I use the word “know” rather liberally here, as there are perhaps 20 people I come in contact with on a regular basis on the bus or train, and talk to on the odd occasion. This particular lady is Russian (or so I guess based on her accent), near my age or older (guessing from her wrinkles), maroon haired (because there is apparently no ending to maroon hair color), dresses well, and works at the Farmer’s Market which is next to one of my larger clients. She was wearing a yellow tank top, and she has a rather nice figure, so I guess the old guy was getting a little side boob action. So now I have a dilemma, do I tell her? Do I stop him?
This went on for a few stops, and then the man actually stood up, probably to get a better grip, and proceeded to stare at her, and touch himself. At this point he had that focused stance one uses when really looking at something intently. You could tell his higher brain functions were gone. He had not a care for the rest of us, or what we thought.
So then the bus stopped at my stop, and I got off after Russian lady. Only the man got off too (no, not that got off, sheesh). I couldn’t let him follow her, but I also didn’t want to say anything to her. So what I did was drop my plank, and roll up next to the old man. He was looking at Russian lady, but seemed to notice my stare, because he turned to look at me as she crossed the street. Maybe he turned to look because I yelled, “hey”. When I had his attention, I said, “Dude. That is very uncool.” Then I pushed hard, and crossed the street. Now I had caught up with Russian lady, and while the old man was crossing the street, I started talking to her. He had no idea what I was saying, but hopefully he figured it was about him (it wasn’t). This had the desired effect as the man walked past us, and after I was sure he was aways away, I said my goodbyes, and crossed on the next green.
The second event was a little less creepy. On my way home, while waiting for the Orange Line (a fancy name for an articulated bus), a man was walking along and talking very loud. “Jesus Christ, I am so drunk,” he was saying. That and he went on and on about how great he was. When he noticed me looking at him, he walked over and introduced himself. He was a great guitar player, he assured me, played with every body, and was so famous, if he showed up, any band was glad to let him sit in. Alas, I forgot his name, but I can tell you that he has his own radio show on 88.9 fm, and that he is about 6 foot 3 (I say this because he got very close, as drunks are wont to do, and I was staring straight into his mouth). He had long brown hair, and a cropped beard/mustache, which was long enough to remind me of ZZ Top.
I have no idea if he was a famous guitar player or not. The name didn’t ring any bells (which doesn’t mean much), but I have had experience with someone like him. There is a person I know, a distant relation, who when off his meds, would tell everyone he was the drummer for a famous band. I suspect this man had a similar mental illness. Regardless, for all his size he was relatively harmless, at least to me. I said my good byes, while he sprayed my face with spittle, as drunks are known to do, and left him at the bus station.
Some days, it just doesn’t pay to take the bus.