The 21A Westbound is always four to seven minutes late on Tuesdays. I find that this route generally runs on time during the other six days of the week; but, on Tuesdays, this is not the case.
Today is a Tuesday. Tuesdays anger me. Tuesdays anger me in the same way twisty straws anger me – the inevitability of their existence beyond tomorrow is always guaranteed.
I notice that there is an unusually large amount of people waiting for the 21A Westbound today. It’s exceptionally large for a Tuesday.
“Suckers!” I think to myself.
I scan the crowd, looking for one of the unsuspecting commuters to angrily check their watch, and then glance at the posted route schedule with a dissatisfied squint.
Come on, fishes. Bite. Bite my hooked worm. You know you want to.
“Aha! Got one!”
I accidentally say that part aloud. Some old lady looks at me. What a bitch. Don’t look at me old lady. Look at your floral designed purse that is probably filled with pills and pictures of children and grandchildren who consistently disappoint you.
Now, where was I? Ah, yes. My fishie. He’s a young one. Early twenties: a yuppie guppy. Wow! – He is pissed off, and the bus is only two-minutes late thus far. This could get good!
He probably doesn’t ride the bus that much. Probably drives a Lexus. No, never mind. His shoulder bag isn’t leather - it’s burlap. A business suit paired with a burlap shoulder bag.
I got it! A Volkswagon Golf. Yes... That’s it. That’s his chariot of choice. Foreign. Semi-chic. Good gas mileage. Business in the front, sensible storage space in the back for weekend warrior gear (Snowboards, boogie boards, and the like.)
This guppy is really mad! Awesome! Stupid fishie. The 21A is always four to seven minutes late on Tuesday. You don’t know that though, do you? That’s cause you’re a fish.
The old lady is still glancing at me. What’s her deal? So I accidentally said one of my thoughts aloud. Big deal? Hasn’t she ever thought aloud? Maybe I should ask her. No, she’s old and stupid.
I have to pee. I should have peed before I left work. Stupid pee. I hate peeing. I wish people didn’t pee. I wish they could just be. No eating, no peeing, no pooping, no sweating, no nose blowing. Just being. Like that Beatle said.
Maybe I should pee on that old lady. No, then she would never stop looking at me. I’ve only peed on someone in public three times. It never ends well.
I look at the fish again. He is really pissed off now. A vein bulges in his neck like a worm trying to escape a fishing hook. Fitting. I wonder if I could catch a pike with his vein? I bet I could.
Except, maybe I don’t want to, they’re so bony and hard to filet. Dammit I hate pike, they—-
The bus is here. Five minutes and thirteen seconds late. I get on the bus. The bus driver has loose and floppy jowls that jiggle when he talks. I always have to resist the urge to play with his skin like it’s fresh, fluffy bread dough.
I survey my seating options. There is a seat open next to the old woman. I shudder. I think about peeing on her face again and smile. I sit next to a man with caramel skin and a dark chocolate colored suite. I could really go for a Milky Way right now.
The man is fidgety and smells like cottage cheese. He shuffles his brown, pleather, velcro shoes. They look arrogant. I hate people with arrogant shoes.
The man’s stench is making me sick. I force a film of bile back down my throat. I cough on the man’s shoulder. He grunts and tries to scoot away from me. I lean over and cough louder, directly into his ear. Little droplets of saliva shimmer on his caramel colored lobe.
“What the hell ya’ think ya’ doin’, man?!” the Werther’s Original says in disgust as he wipes the side of his face with his Hershey sleeve.
“Sorry,” I mumble, “I haven’t felt so great since that monkey bit me in Congo last week.”
oh dear dog, what indeed.
I'd read all the pages with a query and probably a partial. I'd be looking hard at the synopsis to make sure all the elements are in place and there's a narrative arc I can actually describe to an editor.
What works here is the voice. It's utterly compelling and loathsome at the same time. The pace is in keeping with what's being said..there's an impatience to it that we feel, not just read.
This is good.