I had no reason to be tense when I first got on the bus this morning. I hadn't had a thing to drink the night before (hangovers often make me on edge the next day); I'd had a full 8 hours of sleep; had had my breakfast; had on clothes I liked; the bus was on time...
Once I sat down just behind the handicapped area in front, I became aware of a very loud conversation going on at the very back of the bus. I didn't turn around to look, but it sounded like (and turned out to be) a couple of young gang-bangers trying to impress both each other and the fellow passengers with their toughness (and disregard for propriety by bragging so loudly about their exploits).
I first got to hear about one "stupid bitch" that one guy was stringing along; hell, he even be calling his other bitches while the Stupid Bitch was in the next room! Then things segued into how your "gang family" came before your real family. ("No'm sayin'?") Then on to how, hey, if you accidentally dropped $20 on the floor in front of one guy, he would keep it, even if he knew it was yours. If you wanted it back? Tough luck, bitch! Just TRY and take it back! Want to get shot in the face? ("No'm sayin'?")
After the first 10 minutes or so of listening to this shit, I wasn't quite ready to blow yet, just mightily irritated and sighing internally at how TEDIOUS the whole stupid conversation was and wishing I didn't have to listen to the idiots. Also looking surreptitiously around at the driver and other passengers to see how/if they were reacting, envying the passengers who had in ear-pods and were oblivious.
Around Minute 11, another sparkling turn in the conversation: One guy and a Stupid Bitch (not sure if it was the same Stupid Bitch from earlier) had had a 3-way with a gang brother. The other guy pissed off the bus-guy when he jacked off in the Stupid Bitch's face and, oh-so-sloppily in the process, got "3 drops" of cum on the bus-guy. The bus-guy wasn't having that shit, so he stuck his hand up the Stupid Bitch's cunt and shoved her away from the Sloppy Guy...
MIDDLE-AGED WHITE WOMAN (turning around in her seat, screaming): THAT'S ENOUGH!!!!!!!!!!
BUS GANGSTAS IN BACK: [surprised looks on faces]
MAWW: NO ONE WANTS TO LISTEN TO YOUR SHIT! STOP DISRESPECTING WOMEN!!!!! I'VE BEEN LISTENING TO THIS SHIT FOR 15 MINUTES! I'M SICK OF IT!!!!!!
BUS GANGSTAS 1 & 2 (snapping out of their surprise, their intermingled yelling right back): WHY YOU LISTENING? MIND YOUR BUSINESS, BITCH!
MAWW: I CAN'T HELP BUT LISTENING, YOU'VE BEEN TALKING SO LOUD! I DON'T WANT TO HEAR YOUR SHIT ABOUT WOMEN ANY MORE!
BGs (extremely agitated): WHO'S THIS BITCH? YOU BETTER SHUT THE FUCK UP BITCH! YOU HEARD OF FREEDOM OF SPEECH? YOU WANNA HEAR SOME REALLY FREAKY SHIT?!
MAWW: NO, I DON'T WANT TO HEAR SOME "REALLY FREAKY SHIT"!!!!!! I DON'T WANT TO HEAR ANYTHING. THERE ARE PEOPLE AROUND YOU. NOBODY WANTS TO LISTEN TO YOU.
BG 1: YOU NEED TO SHUT UP, BITCH! (and then, one thing that I found funny:) WHY YOU EVEN ON THIS BUS? TAKE A DAMN CAR!
BUS DRIVER (who has arrived at a downtown stop, finally getting up and facing the guys): You need to simmer down right now, or I'm going to call a supervisor. (gets back in seat, takes off again)
BG 1: [jumps out of seat, stomps to front of bus, right past me, gets in driver's face up front] FUCK YOU, MAN! WHO YOU THINK YOU TALKING TO? CALL YOUR SUPERVISOR, MAN, GO ON! CALL YOUR SUPERVISOR!
BUS DRIVER (staring straight ahead as he pulls up to the next stop and opens the bus doors)
BG 1: [stomping back past me to the back of the bus; he and his friend exit out the back door, then stand outside the bus, yelling at the bus while it's stopped at the red light and as we take off] WE GON' FUCK YOU UP! NEXT TIME, WE GON' SLAP EVERY MOTHERFUCKIN' PERSON ON THAT BUS! [etc etc; at least they didn't say "shoot" every MF person...]
Dead silence as we drive away. Then one woman on the bus calls out to me: "I agree with you!" I don't look at her. Just sit there, flushed/shaken, 'til I get off at my stop on the next block. The bus driver calls out after me, "Have a good one."
1) It felt SO GOOD to scream at those shit-heads.
2) I could have gotten punched in my face (or worse).
3) I'm so glad that, at 47, I still have that (define "that" as you will) in me.
4) Old bus memories called up from when I lived in San Francisco in '94-'95, the first time I'd ever seen people behave like that in public. The first SF incident was a black gang-banger who didn't want to pay his $1 fare. The whole bus-load of us sat there for 5 minutes while the guy screamed abuse at the driver. A kindly old lady even offered him a dollar bill for his fare, but no---the guy just wanted to be a shit-head. The driver finally just let him on without paying.
The second SF incident, a white guy boarding the bus did not want to pay his fare, and so was screaming at the driver; a little old lady sitting right next to me hollered out, "You stop bothering the driver!" The white guy then shut up and paid his fare.
I was shocked at both of these SF incidents. I'd lived in Austin, a city about the size of SF, from '83 to '94, right before I moved to SF (where I lived in '94-'95)...yet I'd never witnessed anyone acting like that in Austin. In SF, I felt ashamed for being one of the mute--and powerless--passengers both times.
I'm sure that my yelling at the obnoxious Gangsta Bus Guys today was my revenge on my own passivity back in '94. (But I was also somewhat safe because I was a middle-aged white women; no glory in punching such?)