Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Laughing at the Bus Stop (and elsewhere)

Greetings Readers

Alright Readers, the weather sure changed from the early morning of the day to when I got off work close to 6:00 PM last night.

There was a heavy mist and visibility was down to a mile, I estimate.

I only had my biking shorts, light windbreaker, fingerless gloves and 2 bandannas.

In so many words I fucked myself for my bike ride home from work.

I was cold, shivering and there was a light rain mist falling.

I will admit Readers; I was cold.

I got off the Arapahoe Light Rail Station and headed (rode) to a bus stop I know of that is an enclosed bus stop; as opposed to just a bench. This bus stop has that plastic breakaway clear wall that almost encases the bus stop to protect us riders from the elements.

I was there waiting for about ten minutes when I saw a bus coming around the corner. I immediately left the enclosure and got my bike ready to load onto the bike rack on from of the RTD bus.

The bus stopped and I loaded my bike onto the bike rack. I walk in and then I hear the bus driver talking, but muffled since I had my earphones on and the music was a bit louder than usual.

I take out my earphones.

“You want the 105?” he said once more.

“Uh. No” I replied.

I apologized for making him stop and for me not looking at the LED display on the front of the bus. I took my bike off the RTD Bus bike rack and once more apologized and thanked him for telling me.

I know the 105 bus runs out here, but apparently they must have adjusted the bus route when the 465 (or was that the 405) was discontinued a few months.

I went back into enclosure and stood moving to the music to keep myself warm and the blood circulating throughout my body. I had my arms crossed to keep myself warm as much as I thought I could.

There I was – freezing and shivering like a hard-core bike rider, but a fucking dumb hard-core rider who didn’t dress accordingly. I cannot argue that, though I am not dumb, I just did not count on the cold front to get into Denver in the afternoon as opposed to 8 PM when the weatherperson said this morning. Yeah, yeah, yeah I knew fucking better, but I did not listen so now I am paying for not listening to the weatherperson.

I had the Scorpions currently singing “The Zoo” and I was moving to the music and silently singing to myself watching the intersection traffic as well as the photo cameras taking pictures of vehicles running the red turn light arrow. Readers, the two flashes from the stoplight camera are pretty bright in the dark.

Soon, I saw a person, a man, walking down the sidewalk towards the bus stop enclosure.

As usual I had my earphones in, music playing and basically was okay with freezing my ass off, but sort of in a foul mood since I really put myself in this situation. I knew better than to leave my humble abode without bringing my Natalie Merchant stocking cap, long biking pants, and full-fingered gloves. But no… I had to be the “cool” guy who rides like it is not cold.

With that being said I was no mood to be talked to by any stranger; although the bus driver was an exception since the weather was cold and misty, raining and basically I did not want to ride home. I wanted a warm bus.

The stranger slows down as he approaches the RTD bus stop enclosure and then dumps something into the trashcan outside and then steps insides the enclosure with me. I never made eye contact with this person. I was busy observing everything else, besides him. He was not important and I did not want to be asked any questions. I know I was destine to hear the question “Hey, have you been waiting long?” or the infamous “Do you got the time?”

Yep – My fucking luck, but not really. As I have blogged in the past I have no fucking clue why people ask me questions that have no bearing on their life at that moment waiting at the bus stop. How is my answer going to affect their life at the bus stop?

I was still moving my hips, swaying with my legs and had my arms still wrapped across by body while listening to the end of Scorpions singing “the Zoo.”

Then, I hear the all too familiar formation of a question.

“What bus are you waiting for?”

I pretended not to hear him. Yet, as I was not looking at him directly I can see that he is looking at me to obviously get my attention that he is talking to me.

Readers, after three obvious direct looks at me I pretend to notice him for the first time and I hear him ask the same question once more, but I was looking at his mouth.

“I can’t hear you, I’m sorry.” I politely and softly say without missing a beat of the music while looking at him and his mouth.

He looks at me, but his look was utter amazement as if he has never heard anyone say that to him before.

After I said that, which I said without smiling or sarcasm, I went back to observing the intersection traffic. Then, the next song to come on my ipod was a nice song from the 10,000 Maniacs – “Don’t Talk.”

“I can’t fucking believe it.” the guy says out loud to himself. I heard him, but pretended not to hear. He was not mad, but it was like he really could not fucking believe that someone / I actually said that – to him especially.

Then, there is a quick laugh from him. He then walks out of the enclosure and then back into the enclosure. Meanwhile, I am doing everything possible not to let him know that I heard him and not to look at him.

He laughs again and says out loud to no one, or me “That’s a fucking good one.”

Now, I am trying to keep from smiling from his laugh. His laugh was classic Readers. Short, but his laughing was about to make me laugh.

Even though this stranger was probably pissed off or was pissed off he was laughing at what I said to him. He did not cuss me out or give me the “death to you look.” His look right after I said “I can’t hear, I’m sorry” is classic. It made the situation funny for him, which in turn made it hysterical to me. Even more so after I caught my bus and left him at the bus stop.

“Fucking good one,” he laughs again. He sits down on one of the benches in the enclosure and then opens his bag and starts looking for something.

About 15 seconds later he locates whatever and then shakes his head in disbelief and laughs without saying a word.

Readers, at this point it is so fucking funny to me that I am literally dying to keep a straight face. One might say my Poker face.

Readers… oh Readers… I am laughing as I am writing this post right now.

He was looking for his phone and apparently when whoever answered the phone on the other end this stranger says

“Hi, I am at the corner of XXX and XXX can you tell me when the 105 comes to this bus stop?”

He utters another short laugh at himself while I imagine that RTD person on the other line is looking up that information for him.

Readers, I had to bite my tongue and the inside of my mouth so I would not smile or worse yet laugh, because he was laughing.

After a couple of minutes he is done with his phone call to RTD and then hangs up. He laughs at himself once more which is further making the encounter much more funnier than it should be.

Finally, bus 66 turns the corner and I leave the enclosure and he laughs while I am walking out. I put my bike on the bus bike rack and then board the bus. As the bus doors were closing I heard him laugh for the last time.

As soon as the bus goes about 30 feet or so I started laughing out loud like it was the funniest thing I heard. What made me laugh even harder was the hearing the guy laughing at himself or the situation. Once I thought I got myself in control on the laughing I would start laughing out loud once more uncontrollably.

I even thought about the situation. This guy did not miss a beat. After I told him I could not hear him – he did not cuss me out, he did not give me the fuck you or he never got really mad, he just laughed at himself and then resolved the situation by calling up RTD himself.

Readers – this is just too fucking funny to write (recount) this up for you. I am seriously laughing out loud at this incident and blog.

This is so not like the guy who asked me which way the elevator was going. This guy is not “whipped.” He did not get the answer to his question, but at least he looked for the next option available to him.

Now, with all that being said “My answer to his question is not going whatsoever help him. Here is the answer I would have given to him, if I chose to answer his question.


How is that information going to help him? I am not saying if he did ask me “Did the bus 105 come by?” I would have answered him, but I only react by the moment that whatever the situation is going on at that moment. I could have said to this stranger.

“The 105 came by about 10 minutes earlier.” Again, I could have, but then again maybe not.

I do not know Readers, but I know that my answer to his question was not going to benefit him. Matter of fact, what if this guy was a RTD bus stop serial killer who’s MO is to ask people what bus they are catching and if a certain digit is said well that was the trigger to harm someone just for saying a certain digit. Yeah Readers, that may be far fetched, but logically how does what bus I am waiting for affect him?

Yet, another stranger in my travels upon Mother Earth seemed to ask another seemingly simple question, but a question they had no business asking in the first place.

I got off the bus at my stop and soon I was laughing my ass off on Arapahoe Road. It was just so funny to me. I was even thinking about that guy probably had unlimited minutes, which means that phone call did not cost him and he actually used his phone to his benefit.

I dropped my gear off, changed my bike to another bike and then headed to the store for my dinner to cook last night.

The laughter got worse Readers. While I was shopping in King Soopers people looked / glanced at me and I would let loose with another round of uncontrollable out loud laughter which was the laugh of someone laughing at the funniest thing in the world. I never looked back at those people, but I can imagine them looking at me with that “what is so fucking funny,” look or “are you laughing at me,” look, which made the moment even funnier. I laughed all over the store – the meats area, the Coca-Cola aisle, the refrigerator area and then the check out lane. I looked at the people who looked at me first then I would burst into another of round of out loud laughter. A young couple, a black guy, a woman in her sweat pants and slipper, A mom and her teenage daughter, a King Soopers employee – I did not care, but anyone who made eye contact with me - I laughed out loud since it was so funny thinking about my RTD bus stop incident and me just laughing when people looked at me. I made sure that I did not look at anyone directly in the eyes in the store like I normally do, since I know I am going to see that same exact blank look that stranger had at the bus stop.

In closing, that laughter yesterday was the best thing to happen to me in a long while, probably since the last time I had sex. Hah hah. And that’s not the same laughter I was doing yesterday.

Until the next time

Daryl Charley
The Fallen Athlete

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