There's a girl I see on the bus from time to time. She lives a few blocks away, and I'm afraid to say I think she works at Cisco. She's a complete dipstick. For the first week or two she took the bus, she'd wait on the wrong side of the street. (I couldn't make this up.) She tries to dress funky, like she shops at thrift stores, but her style is almost lack of style. I don't think she wears what she does ironically, if that makes any sense. She always has her headphones on and if she is waiting for the bus, she dances. To be honest, Dancing Queen is quite beautiful, especially if she'd put some effort into her hair. She looks like she's of some mixed ethnicity, so she's got this great natural spiral curl to her hair which I covet, but it usually looks like she could stand a comb and a little product. She also rolls her own cigarettes. I watched her do it the other morning and it was all I could do to not laugh. She really kind of sucked at it.
She was on the bus tonight sitting in front of me. A friend of hers got on the bus at the airport mall and sat behind her. He looked like your Standard Issue Hippie Stoner, even down to the stink of patchouli. She, of course, was wearing her signature scent...trying too hard. I was the jerk yammering away on her cell phone about cookies for most of their conversation. When I hung up, I was more than happy to listen to them talking. About books. Literature in fact. They somehow got on the topic of classic literature. Dancing Queen said she liked Dostoyevsky, which got my attention. She stated she "loved" Notes From Underground the way I proclaimed my love of horses on fifth grade. Really? While I agree that it's inspired, brilliant even, if you've ever actually read it, I mean really read it, I think you'll find that the first existential novel infuriating, maybe a little difficult. She said she loved how metaphorical he was. Dostoyevsky was many things, but metaphorical he was not. Philosophical, perhaps, but not really metaphorical. But I digress. She then goes on to say that she loved his other "book" called The Metamorphosis. She then realizes that he didn't actually write that. It went something like this:
DQ: Wait, did he write that?
Hippie Stoner: Yeah, I don't remember. I don't think so.
Me, silently: You mean Kafka?
DQ: Um, it wasn't Tolstoy.
HS: blank stare
Me: Wrong country. Wrong century.
DQ: Oh, I don't remember who wrote that.
Me: KAFKA! It was Kafka. Dostoyevsky died before Kafka was born! KAF. KA.
HS: Oh, it was Kafka, I think.
DQ: Oh right. Yeah, man, I, like, love how metaphorical it is. How it's a metaphor for...something stupid I didn't catch. Something like a metaphor for his life? It doesn't matter anyway.
HS and Me, still silently, in unison: It's not metaphorical at all. He really does turn into a roach.
DQ: really confused, tilted head Really? dramatic pause I love fiction.
HS: I love fiction too.
Me, still quiet as a mouse: Me too!