Saturday, February 28, 2004

11 minutes 23 seconds. There is a redhead two seats back. Awful shoes but good eyes. Seems a shame, really. That particular seat´s always been a bit iffy. It´s a tortured path, I think, being a red. But then ...

1 day 6 minutes. This driver´s been a failure. Too taken in by the fancy, tempered glass one might think. A bus is a magnificent machine, no doubt. The harmony of its parts, the solidity of its chassis, always inspire. But a driver must remain rooted, don´t you see? But more on the driver later.

6 hours 6 seconds. As omens go, one might be dumbstruck. Two rows forward, but across the aisle, sits the 9th stop Child. Quite punctual, really. Obsessed by yellow - but that´s well documented. A veritable archive of post-modern, neo-bohemianism. It´s assumed there are parents involved, but Child is still waiting. Well.

48 minutes. The 10th stop is not without interest. The bus stop sign is haning in Fancy Amy´s boudoir. She´s always been a romp. The day her dad cracked the sidewalk with his sledgehammer is part of the 10th stop lore. Aunt Genevieve now takes a new route to the grocer´s. She´s an unforgiving woman is Auntie. But we wander, for the interest is with the street lamp. Just to pike your interest, for the whole tale is beyond the scope of this mere tidbit.

3 days, 4 hours, 9 seconds. All passengers turn away from the 11th stop, for the tragedy is still too recent. All but seat 13, left, window. Black hair, eyes, shirt - more than that would be speculative. Small toes, fine hands, loves butter beans. It´s a shame, really. And black hair looks quite resolutely at the 11th stop. But, after all?

Six layers of paint painstakingly applied to the chassis. The invoice says it´s Italian. One can´t ask for more. Tires: Cleveland, in the fine state of Ohio. Turn signals: that´s a bit complex, actually. Wiring, lens, bulbs, switch. A simply marvelous bit of work that´s often overlooked. Red might go on and on, but then that´s Red all over again.

Steering column: with hesitation, Chinese. The invoice has gone astray and it´s not stamped. There´s a tawdry tale for another day.

1 hour, 30 minutes, 0 seconds. Back row, left, aisle. Mousey with pricks of brilliance. Wan, fidgety, who lapses into and out of reveries on chaos theory as applied to Cat Stevens. Too profound, by far, for the average rabbit. Bland, dissimulating eyes. Simply voluptuous lips, which has been a sign since Lana Turner´s daughter did her deed. Indeed.

Windshield wipers. They caused a three day strike when the shop foreman made his famous discovery. What a scene! Yes, they´re glamorous. Yes, they´re virtually works of art. But all in all! The stuff of passion?

2 hours, 20 minutes. 1 seat behind Red, bit of a pug nose, discrete close ears. Smile that would´ve been ´wry´ in other days. Nasty pancreatic cancer. Quite regrettably unknown. Just born to tango, born to crush hearts, melodramas, beatific.

But you´re more interested in the brake fluid. Quite so. Silky, dark, exhilirating. Unique counterpoint to the brake lining. Together, the perfect union. Yin and yang. Soft as the old tale of the fallow field and the locust eggs. Lest we wax too nostalgic, let´s return to black hair, seat 13.

Navel is an innie, so there´s no defining quality mid-section. Feet: good arches. Disdainful of underwear yet knows the value of nylon.. No known allergies. Embraced by a sadness that shakes, that gnaws. Yet somehow knows the diameter of all the moons of Saturn. Black hair would love ferociously if not for all these stops. Rightly discounts the Big Bang Theory. Infinity and all, you see.

The Child´s soft cheek touches the window - cleaned nightly by a first rate crew. A dancing in the aisle, song on its sleeve crew. Child´s hair falls limply, hiding an eye. Lashes, lashes for days. Barely a lobe, the ear has barely a lobe. Pug nose, very, very still, looking past Red. Child is a dangerous Child. A voracious chasm. The cleaning crew has placed a wicked bewitching on the bus. What a dark dance they step. Toe, heel, tap, pirouette. Short breath, shallow, quiet breath.

23 minutes, 17 seconds. 1st seat, aisle, and older than 1st seat ever wanted or thought to be. Spots, brown spots on the backs of the hands. A tiredness, silly, silly tiredness. Buzzing. Some goodbyes to go. The vinyl seat´s quite nice, actually. Comforting, grey, agreeable. All you need is love, love. Love´s all you need. Humm. Til the end. Top notch cleaning products on this bus. Nepal or Tibet? Noone would ever know. There was a boy, a strange enchanted boy. Oops, melancholy, old morose melancholy. Concentrate on the driver´s bald spot, dear.

4 hours, 51 minutes, 12 seconds. The newcomer hesitated, sat next to pug nose. 5´8", 7-1/2 shoes narrow, 28" waist, 20/30 right eye but 20/60 left. Genetically predisposed to blah blah blah. Newcomer sang for dinner; waltzed for dessert. Dissed, or dissertated, for a martini. Cracked eggs for cognac. But chose Pug nose, who couldn´t translate Hegel into Mandarin. Or make a perfect souffle.

Oozin´. Pricks of precocity might be more accurate. Twitches in the shower, played piccolo at age 2. Memorized the Paganini repertoire at 11 but moved on to Abba. Ostrich eggs at Easter? Save that thought. Newcomer once determined that the speed of light has been variable but forgot why 2 hours later. Mum was obsessed with the cabalistic references in Gilbert and Sullivan (but rejected as a thesis topic at Kinshasa U). Ah, the twisted wankings of the world.

Driver was a good ole boy, before he schizzed a bit. Would´ve been hardly worth mentioning except for ´The Incident´. The air is like blood, you see. Full of invisible organisms, coursing, doing, leeching, eating. He´d often wondered just what they were eating until he gained ´The Sight´. It was an awful gift, ´The Sight´. Because, you see, he then knew.

Unlike lesser buses, this bus was endowed with tempered, corrosion-proof springs within each seat. What further evidence does one need of the heights to which its creators aspired? Heights never again achieved, for much was lost, wasn´t it?

7 minutes, 9 seconds. Row 5, aisle, left. Ex-looker, now ex-tended. Epitaphial; exact. Mocked rabidly the lunching set. Often lunched ON, our ex-all. A tipsy, topsy morcel of declining flavor. Something like denatured holy water. What IS the point? More questions, sorry, than responses. Ex moved the East Village a bit closer to Alphabet City, back when the sun was warmer. Sang a fine set of Victorian torch songs, but with a perturbing melange of ambivalence it was noted. If we will, one must, mustn´t one? Ýes, quite´ would be the correct riposte.

Child is quite smitten with Ex. Child has ever been the undoing of undoers. A wizard once secreted amber around a nosehair from Janice Joplin as a toke for Child. Hoping for protection, undoubtedly. Ah, hope. Sly, backstabbing hope. The slope that slips. An escalator stuck in reverse. We all know the sort of that wizard, now don´t we? As Ex well knows, when one´s thighs get simply too large, that´s all she wrote.

1 hour, 0 minutes, 59 seconds. Slouched. Bit of a slink as well. Very back, right, window. Stop 2. We all know that neighborhood. Veritable haven for crouchers. And as if we need yet another petit-four, it was found to be the most prosthetically-challenged as well. One really must love studies. Where would we be? But, then again, where were we? It might be supposed that the butter was left out of this cake. Why not go one stop further and suppose that the eggs weren´t separated? Or, gee, golly and gee whiz, that the flour just wasn´t sifted? Harsh! Folks can be so harsh. Beneath that slouch is no cake at all, but a peach cobbler. A twinkle in Julia´s eye. Sweet, flavorful perfection.

But Red can sniff a peach from far, far, far. Climb a tree, pluck, pluck. A heartbeat. Slouch could be just a slurp in the road. But no slurp is our slouch. Nay, voyeurs and voyeusses. A scald of the tongue; a stab in the entrails. Cramps, lay-em-down-in-the-road cramps. Nightsweats and nausea. Love, or leave.

Triple pisces: sun, moon, rising. A dark soul, soft fingers, flat tummy. Tight, ouch, crunch butt. Oh-la-la. Narrow nose. Rruff-rruff calves! A tongue to tickle your tonsils. A skim of the surface of Newcomer.

Newcomer put the ´F´ back into fabulous. Cross your legs, all lookers, else look away.

9 seconds. Stop 7, please sit, stay, settle. The seats are all magnificently the same. Absolutely no need to scamper or scurry on this bus. The springs have not sprung. No tears, discolorations, squicky, gummy yuckies. No invasive malodors. One may nestle into this so perfect cocoon; give way to its zen-tasmic higher plane. One may sit, stay, settle. Stop 7, hereafter nicked Norm. Height: average. Weight: average. Coloring: average. Eyes: average. A reverser of time. Forgotten before seen. Missed before done. Cause without effect.

What doeth our Norm? Our phantom? What does a Norm, who can pass unseen, invisible? In and out, over or under? Fingerprints so undistinguished that they´re not distinguishable? What, in the wide world of opportunity, would a Norm do? Baker? Butcher? Candlestick maker? If Norm doesn´t reflect in a window; if Norm isn´t captured on sly, oily video cams? What if Norm is an illusion, albeit a forgotten one? A whisper gobbled by the wind? If we could remember just long enough to remove the mask, what, gentle reader, would we find?

We may well be tempted to rhapsodize on spark plugs at this point. Miss Lee was actually thinking of spark plugs when writing Fever, it´s been recounted. But a crisis, a splinter under the nail, a screech of a suffering blackboard, a pustule inside the nose, a --- where was I? Oh, yes, a crisis is ... mmm... maturing. Yes, quite. Maturing. And it´s to do with Red. Our Red, for a bit of narrowing. Red´s about to kick it, keel, arrest, grab the big one, de-fucking-cease, as Mama Mangiotti used to say. (Back when) Ploop! Over Red falls, right into the aisle. And what a chain reaction this starts! But we were percolating new chirpy jingles bout spark plugs, now weren´t we? A corpse in the aisle is so mundane, anyway. Quite best left til later lest morbidity set in.

There is in Spain a plain, one can complain. The vanilla beans are rather hardy. But where were we? Oh, yes, Child.

Sticky things, are children. The cans and the can´ts. Baffling. The shoulds and the not-evers, dizzying. The mightn´ts, shouldn´ts, couldn´ts, mustn´ts, somewhere near the square root of pi. Ambulatory near-critical-masses are children. White sharks in shallow water. Cobras hiding under your bed covers. Oof!

3 minutes, 12 seconds. 7th row, right, window. A teller of tales. A bringer of unbrought things. A deranger of the mis-arranged. (But oddly, not the mal-arranged.) Hatched, no doubt, from an odd egg. Not browny-blue like the other eggs but a discombobulatingly periwinkled orange. No proud parent saved that eggshell, one may be certain. Nor was 7th row, right, window hatched last night. Forget everything you may think you know bout orange eggs - all rubbish. All the delirium of nursing orangutans besotted with their own grade A, though hardly homogenized, milk.

Deviating. Norm once wrote a tract ¨Selfless Observations on a Peony´. A sequel, it seems, to some musings by Pontius Pilate. The tract was wrapped in tin foil, probably to evade radar detection, and coated with super glue. As a final touch Norm drilled a 6.66 meter hole in the N.E. Greenland icecap, pushed this life´s masterwork to the bottom, and sealed the hole. We all know WHY one would do such a thing but the WHERE is rather bewildering. Whether the act of being selfless, or the chosen peony itself, caused this rigamarole, is not know.

Angst! What a tough and manly word. A butchy-boy word. Each letter oozing machismo. Grruff! Rrruff! A pull-in-the-stomach, puff-out-the-chest word. Angst! But even angst pales next to carburator. The weak swoon; the strong are gripped with hair standing fervor. Raise the flag! Stand at attention! Aaah, egads. STOP!

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