Behold the power of
My last post was all about Big Jeezy, the Head Honcho, the Man Upstairs; it wasn't exactly scathing, but it wasn't a positive advertisement for Jesus, either--unless you mean it was HIV-positive.
After posting, I jumped into my work clothes and ran out the door. When I reached the bus stop, I was relieved to see I'd made it; there's a 9:29 A.M. bus that gets me to work right on time, and not one minute earlier--it's also less crowded, and the bus driver is nice, so I prefer that one. To be honest, though, I've always had a huge bus phobia, so to say 'I prefer it' means it doesn't make me vomit upon boarding. Just so we're clear.
We stopped along The Ave, meandering towards downtown, and made it to the express lanes. I texted Manthony and sent Whoreleen a picture mail, when I experienced one of those Female Feelings. Now, 'female feelings' in my world can be organized into five different groups: Regular Bitchy, Extreme Bitchy, PMS Bitchy, Foreboding Intuition, and I'm Feeling Randy. I generally stay in the first three categories; intuition strikes whenever it wants, and the last one is reserved for weekends and holidays. I was sitting in the very back of the bus--James Blake would have been proud--which is unusual, because that's prime sitting real estate for the crackheads I can't stand. The back was free from crackhead tyranny, so I sat in the very last seat (the long bench), with the aisle straight in front of me; the man sitting to my left offered me the window seat, and I happily switched seats with him. He was really nice, chatty--a quintessential white dude who had just come back from vacation with his wife and kids. He had gone into work early, taken off for a dentist appointment, and was going back on the bus. In front of me was a bench of seats facing inward, so I had something to rest my knees against; a British student with an enormous backpack/bedroll was sitting there, blocking my view of the rest of the bus, but since people were packed in like sardines--all the seats were filled and the aisles were, too--I couldn't see anything anyways.
The Foreboding Intuition felt like someone reached into my heart and stomach, and squeezed; I felt slightly nervous, and gripped my cell phone tighter. I actually thought, 'This is one of the reasons why I hate the bus--there's too many people and it's unsafe. If we were in an accident...' This, of course, is the exact moment we hit the car that swerved in front of us, and all hell broke loose.
I really hate that cliche. 'All hell broke loose'? What does that even mean? Taken literally, it would mean that either Hell had opened up (a frightening thought), or complete and total chaos. This scenario was both.
We were barreling down the highway at 65-70MPH, and all of a sudden, we weren't. We hit something, swerved, and came to a complete stop. I heard screaming from everywhere on the bus, but I couldn't register where it was coming from--I was too busy BEING LIFTED OFF OF MY SEAT BY THE IMPACT, and trying to save my seatmates. Because I had something in front of me, my knees hit first (OMG, OW) and then my head hit the pole; my body slammed into the British dude, and he went careening down the bench into another guy. The nice man to my right, as well as the 19 people standing in the aisles, went flying into the air and into each other. The nice man to my right could have been me.
There's a guy who rides the bus with me every day. I call him Metalocalypse Dude. He wears 'shades', not sunglasses, and has a badass handlebar mustache; he's always sporting a well-loved, worn-out metal t-shirt from the eighties, and has the longest hair I've ever seen on a man (he can sit on it!). At first I thought he was scary, but realized I was dead wrong; he's the first--and usually only--guy to offer his seat to other people, namely the elderly or pregnant women, or women in general. I always make eye contact with him, trying to convey my gratitude through one small smile, and he always nods in return. Yesterday, he offered his seat to an unsteady old woman, and she shook his hand. I was really touched, which turned quickly into 'horrified', because he's the only one who wasn't holding on when we crashed. He flew through the air--LITERALLY FLEW--and landed on a bunch of people, right after he landed on the back of a seat. He couldn't breathe very well, because his ribs had cracked--he felt them crack upon impact--and he was trying not to cry. I know this because one single tear escaped from beneath his shades as people were trying to help him up.
That single tear made me weep in the bathroom at work, all. day. long.
I was in shock all day. I shouldn't have gone to work. I know I wasn't hurt, except for some bruising and a bump on my head, but it's not like we crashed and then moseyed along to our regular work days. It was really, really scary. And I was really, really out of it.
We sat on the bus, huddled together, a big group of sniffly, terrified strangers. The British guy and I kept each other company. He said, "I'm heading to a place called Spoh-caine?" I told him it was pronounced 'Spoh-can'. He asked me if I'd ever been there, and I said yes. He asked me if I thought he would like it, and I said absolutely not. At one point, he waved a hand in front of my face and said, "You there?" I didn't reply.
My work friend, Cadi, was on the bus, too--she was standing in the aisle, but thankfully holding on with both hands to the poles. She was hit from behind by some other people, but managed to come away from it just bruised and shaken. I was told I was in shock by many, many people; I just nodded my head and then, eventually, kept my head down. I didn't want to talk to anyone.
I noticed that Cadi and I, for most of the day, sounded like we were on speed. I laughed loud and hard, and smiled so much my face hurt. I reassured people at work that the accident was no big deal, and squeezed their arm or patted them on the back when they predictably said, "Well, thank God you're okay!" Yes. Thank God.
Thanking God, or His well-intentioned followers, was the last thing on my mind yesterday; shaking my fist at the sky was the first. After arriving at work, I checked my email so I could have a moment to relax--and what did I find in my sad little inbox? CHRISTIAN-THEMED HATE MAIL. My response is this: MY blog, MY prerogative. If you don't like what you read here, then why the hell are you reading here? My disclaimer says I love the F-word; surely you didn't think I was screaming "JESUS FUCKING ROCKS"?! Based on the emails I received--most of them very rude and unbecoming of a Christian (if you're trying to lead by example, you've failed, in case you were wondering)--it seems these people need some guidance, since they're clearly not getting it from above.
www.forgodssakeshutup.blogspot.com is a delightful blog designed to teach Christians how to communicate effectively (and hopefully how to use spell-check), which includes knowing when to remain silent. Says the blog author: "Sadly, Christians often do a poor job in communicating, which can make us look bad and drive people away from God." Now there's a Christian I can agree with; everything else on his blog is drivel for believers, but I certainly agree with that one statement.
The Esq picked me up at work, and we rode home on the bus together; I was white-knuckling it the whole way, and every time we braked hard, I panicked. Once off the bus, I didn't even make it to our front door; I just lost it on the street, and kept losing it all the way to our apartment. Having a traumatic start in the morning, and then going to work and "Being On" all day--happy happy happy!--and having my body give out between each client (I'm having major issues with the non-ergonomic setting at work)... on top of very little food, not enough sleep, and coming home to my garbage dump of an apartment... I was at The End. Finito. Stick some forks in me. I was DONE.
I felt better after getting major hugs, putting on pajamas, eating my favorite dinner (that the Esq procured for us, my sweet robot), hearing my mother's reassuring voice, and watching some Mad Men episodes. I slept the sleep of the just last night. I'm still worrying about the people who were hurt yesterday, the people I couldn't help; the nice man to my right, Metalocalypse Dude... it's agony, wondering. I have to let it go, but that tear! people flying! How can I let go of those images?
"This is what happens when you take on the Big Jeezy...you got off with a warning..." That's what the Griz texted to me, and I wholeheartedly agreed. "No shit. Now I'm calling him Jebus."
I don't believe in your awesome zombie powers--and I don't think I need to apologize for that--but let me set some boundaries so I can sleep better at night. Because I hate the bus, I am not going down like that. DEATH BY DANGEROUS BUS RIDE IS NOT A FUCKING OPTION. It is just too ironical, even for me.
Thank you for listening.
Your nicest non-believer,