Another one in the bank
I didn’t really like him as soon as I saw him. I made a judgement based on circumstances. I know that’s bad — to judge someone without knowing them — but we all do it.
Little did I know, however, he would be responsible for one of those moments that I am destined to come back to — because his actions made me feel shitty.
We all have these moments — fragments of our past that we sometimes remember and that make us feel bad or stupid.
I have many.
Most are innocuous to the outside observer, and quickly forgotten. But to me, when I recall them, I still get that same wish my head would explode now please and thank you feeling I had at the time the event happened. And today’s scenario will be no different.
That first impression? It came when the bus driver pulled up at the stop ten yards from where I was standing. Perhaps he has depth perception issues and thought I was standing much closer. I dunno. It’s a minor thing.
Most of the journey was uneventful after that, until the thing happened.
An elderly gentlemen was hurriedly making his way to a bus stop — was almost there — and was flagging the driver. But the driver did not stop.
“What a cunt,” I said aloud, obviously aiming it at the driver. I was on the upper deck though, so I doubt he heard me.
The traffic lights ahead were red and as we waited, the elderly man — surprisingly agile — ran past, heading for the next stop a short distance away. I really hoped the driver would stop this time.
But he didn’t, even though the old man made it to the stop. I saw the look of desperation on the chap’s face as we drove past and the words miserable cunting motherfucker tumbled out of my mouth, down the stairs and just short of the driver’s ears.
Why had he not stopped? Twice the old man had made it perfectly obvious he wanted to catch this bus and twice the driver had blatantly ignored him. I felt a real hatred of the driver. I actually hope he loses his balls in a freak Chihuahua mauling.
And then I saw it — the thing that turned the driver’s actions into a moment that will haunt me in my lowest moments to come: the bell button.
I could have pressed it, thus requesting the driver make the stop. It didn’t occur to me till just after the old man was left standing — which kinda makes it worse because there was something I could have done and could have been primed to do but I didn’t think about it till it was too late.
I feel bad for not helping the elderly gent, even though the driver doubtless feels nothing for ignoring him twice. And that feeling will stick around, like the two times I had questioned a school friend’s mother as to whether her name was Barbara or Carol.
And that was twenty-five years ago…
Sadly, I am unable to recall any really good memories when I want to. I hate my brain.
Almost as much as I hate that bus driver.