I had dinner with my friend, E, on Thursday night. Since we were going down to Jibarra in the warehouse district, I took the R Line. The ride down was uneventful. The ride home, however, was quite something else.
I get on the bus and sit down. Innocent enough. Two guys come running over and jump on the bus. They are the stereotypical North Raleigh, or Cary, suburbia kind of folks that give me hives. They are joking that the bus driver should close the doors and drive off. What seemed like an hour later, their women get on the bus. One couple was married, one was not and they were going bar hooping that night. Because they're cool like that. The girlfriend (who looked about 10 years younger than her boyfriend) is talking about some guy in her office who uses her Kleenex to blow his nose. She is trying very unsuccessfully to mimic in both noise and gesture an elephant honking his trunk. She was so stupid, it was painful to listen to her. Then, her boyfriend and the wife of the other couple begin making fun of her. They were obviously making fun of how stupid she was, but naturally she completely missed it. At first, I'm looking at the guy and thinking, "do you really want to deal with this for the rest of your life?" and then when he opened his mouth, I was quietly asking her the same thing. I believe they are truly meant for each other and a couple good divorce lawyers. At one point the wife turns to the husband and says, "how funny are we? We're riding a bus!" Yeah, seriously, you crack me up. Then the married couple starts wigging out about the babysitter with the crazy strict parents. The discussion turns to who should go home and relieve Brittney of her duties and who should continue to par-tay with the stupid girl and her boyfriend. The husband lost. Wife went to get her crunk on and hubby stayed on the bus. These are super classy folks.
One stop later, three black folks get on the bus. Each of them are carrying a few bags. The two guys hop on the easily and head to the back. The woman gets on with some difficulty and sits across from me and Husband who was a couple seats over. It was crystal clear that she was high as a kite. Higher, if possible. She was with the guys, but didn't sit with them. She announces to the bus that she was released from federal prison two hours ago and that she served five years. She also says she's headed back to New Jersey, where she's from. Husband engages her in conversation. He asks her if she's happy to be out. If you guessed she said "yes" then you guessed correctly. He's asking her lots of questions that, frankly, aren't any of his damn business, such as, how did she end up in a federal prison here if she's from New Jersey and some such questions. I don't remember the entire conversation word for word because I was busy not making eye contact.
Husband then says to Ex-Con, are you ready for this?....
"But you have to admit that it's nice down here, right?" To which she replies, "I AIN'T GOT TO ADMIT SHIT. OKAY? I AIN'T GOT TO ADMIT GODDAMN SHIT." Yes, she was shouting. Husband then backpedals a little with this zingy comeback, "But I mean like the weather. It's a lot nicer than it is in New Jersey, right?" Never before have I thought I was going to be shanked on a bus. The bus driver chimes in and tells her to watch her language. She apologized and calmed down, thankfully. Seriously, she's so high, she can barely speak. While I am busy not making eye contact and trying to keep an eye out for any flying shivs, I am thinking about how inappropriate it is for Husband to ask this woman if she thinks it nicer here than NJ. I mean, chances are good that she's only been here while in federal prison, which means that she's spent nearly all of her time confined to a tiny cell, eating horrible food, being told when to pee, and maybe, just maybe getting an hour a day outside. She could have been anywhere.
The saga continues when Husband, who has never been on the R Line before, tries to tell Ex-Con where to get off to go to the Greyhound station. He was off by three stops. So glad I wasn't around for that one. As she was leaving, she almost forgot one of her bags. I told her, she picked it up and shook my hand and Husband's and god blessed us. With any luck she's back in New Jersey right now.