Great White Snark: I have no mouth and I must scream.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I have no mouth and I must scream.

The bus driver sings in a foreign language, which I know for certain is not Latin, Spanish, French or Italian. Something distinctly foreign, I think, perhaps Jamaican or some other island dialect. There is no music.

He wears worn and faded leather fingerless gloves, looking like a pop star super hero out to fight traffic and safely transport people from point A to point B, taking the whole thing very seriously. On the seat next to him, a briefcase is propped open. Two bright, gaudy images of the Sacred Heart of Christ, saturized in pinks and gold foil, are pasted to the inside of the lid. Behind them, a bald eagle against an American flag and a cut-out of a very nice looking bus. Perhaps an ambition, like, "If I wear these gloves and drive well enough one of these days maybe I'll drive that." What gets me the most is the inordinate amount of pens he has in his briefcase. Well over 20, perhaps even 30. I wonder how much cause to write a bus driver must have over the course of an 8 hour day. "For, there was something very comfortable in having plenty of stationery," Pip observed after moving to London. Being a student, I think I have one of the writiest jobs out there, and I only carry four pens with me at a time (due in part, perhaps, to how hard it is to find single, affordable, green ink pens).

The damned machine squeals so loud one can't even hear one's thoughts over the screeching and springing of seats, shocks and tires. The girl across from me silently mouths words from her iPod and I wonder how she can make out the melody over the shrill whining of this brilliant machine. What would happen if we crashed? I doubt the school would care. There are, after all, 54,000 more students with whom to replace the two they'd lose. That's all the bus is. It's a chattle-mover. A squealing, hulking, creaking body-transporter.

As I exit the false bell tower extolls an appallingly electric melody I can't place. Yesterday it was "Scarbourough Faire." They've even removed God from the bell-towers. It's an emotionless observation; I'd rather start the day with Simon & Garfunkel anyway.

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