Bus fights, pants-wetters, and Joanne.

May 30, 2012 § Leave a comment

Do you ever have a day when crazies just seem to appear out of nowhere and take over the world? Sort of like the zombie apocalypse, only with nutters instead of zombies? A couple of weeks ago, I boarded the bus near Harvard Square. Instead of continuing on the route, however, the bus driver proceeded to get into a screaming match with another passenger after she boarded the bus against his wishes (apparently they had had an altercation the day before). He refused to move the bus until she got off. She refused to get off. It was a mess. There was yelling, there was shoving, there was filming on a camera phone. Brilliant stuff. (Perhaps my favorite part was the woman who was not involved in the argument but who kept piping up during the argument to ask questions and poll the rest of the riders on their opinions, who called her husband to tell him all about the argument, and who insisted on repeating the story to any passenger who boarded after it was over.)

As the above mentioned bus was heading through Central Square, an elderly woman was crossing the street in front of us. While all of the cars on the street stopped for her, a cyclist did not. She saw him coming, stopped walking, and proceeded to actually try to hit him with her cane. She picked it up off the ground and waved it at his head. I can’t make this stuff up.

On my way home from work later that day (on the same bus route, as a matter of fact), I noticed a woman (or maybe a man… it never became clear) sitting near the front. She was the type of person that you can just see is crazy. I avoided her. A few stops later, a man in a wheelchair got on the bus, and the crazy woman had to move to make room for him.  She sat down in the row next to mine. At a closer distance, I could hear her muttering to herself angrily. She was very antsy, half standing up repeatedly, shifting in her seat almost constantly, and so on. Not knowing anything about her mental state, I practiced careful ignorance of her behavior (as did everyone else on the bus… it’s what you do). She seemed kind of volatile, so I was relieved when we reached my stop without incident. She exited the bus in front of me, and as we walked down the sidewalk, I realized the source of her anxiety: she had wet herself on the bus. (Remind me never to sit down on a public surface ever again ever, ever.)

As I walked home from the bus stop, I jogged across the street. A homeless man saw me do so and shouted, “Hey, Joanne, why you gotta run like that?” I pretended I had no idea I was supposed to be Joanne. He followed me, shouting, “Joanne! Joanne!” and expressing anger at being ignored. What could I do but keep ignoring him? After a block he departed, but it was a horrible block. It made me deeply uncomfortable. It was rush hour, however, so there were other people walking in relatively close proximity, which minimized my sense of danger. Not wanting to turn and look at the man, I wasn’t sure if he had stopped following me or not. When I got to my street, I was very aware that there was someone behind me, and I wanted nothing less than to give the crazy man an opportunity to follow me down a quiet side street.  I was petrified as I turned the corner and glanced over my shoulder in the direction I had come from, but much to my relief the man behind me was a fellow passenger from the bus and (apparently) quite sane. Still, it made me very uncomfortable. (A few days later, the same homeless man came up to me and L. and very insistently bugged us for cash. Lucky for me, he didn’t realize he was talking to Joanne.)

All in all, it was  a crazies day.

I love living in Cambridge, but my neighborhood is getting less and less appealing all the time. I’m leaving! Just as soon as I find a full-time job that pays decently and has benefits. So, I’m leaving within the next 7 years, give or take a few weeks. Har har.


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