I got out of my AI class tonight at 9pm then headed to Ralph’s to pick up some deodorant and mangoes.
Getting to the bus stop, I nodded to the guy waiting there then took my phone out to check the scheduled time for the next Metro bus. Slow app loading. I need to replace this phone, but only after I get a car, then replace my laptop.
I looked up to find him standing in front of me. At first glance, I took in the white hoodie, braided hair and sunken eyes, then I noticed he was swaying on his feet.
Great, a drunk. Just my luck.
He started saying something, but I had a hard time understanding what he said. It came out “blegh, blegh blegh, nigga, blegh.” Well, back to my phone. I don’t like the word, never use it myself, and if you’re panhandling, don’t call me “nigga” even if you happen to be black.
“Blegh, blegh, put the phone away.”
He seemed to be doing most of the talking with his tongue, and he had invaded my personal space. I could smell a mix of alcoholic fumes as well as a rancid odor that could only come from having an entirely white tongue.
“You know what I want.”
Ok, what’s this? A stickup? Would he be happy with just my phone? There’s nothing in my wallet, but it has all my cards and my driver’s license which took three months to get here. What does he have — a gun or a knife?
I could feel goosebumps rise on my neck as my fight or flight instincts kicked in while he kept rambling, then I heard the words “Crips” and “put away that damn phone.” I complied.
“I don’t have anything on me. I’m just a student,” I said as calmly as I could.
I got more babble. Luckily he wasn’t one of those vehement speakers who spit when they talk.
“I’m sorry I don’t understand what you want. I’m not from around here,” I tried to explain.
Now he got angry.
“I know where you from but you don’t know where I’m from. Imma fuck you up. You got pretty eyes and shit. I seen you when you crossed the road.”
Ok, what’s going on here?
I kept looking behind me to see if any cops were around or the bus was coming.
“You want something? I’ll give you anything you want but you gotta give me what I want,” he continued.
I had absolutely no idea what he wanted. Was he a psycho? Was he someone like Vincent Weiguang Li?
“I wanna fuck yo ass.”
Surprisingly, the first emotion I felt was relief. I wasn’t in any danger.
He reached behind me but I stepped sideways to avoid him. I’ve been pinched by girls, even recently (and yes, I reciprocated). I’ve also been hit on by guys and I politely turned them down, but this was just too bizarre.
“Don’t fuck with me man. I know you want it,” he staggered after me. I seriously contemplated hitting him. 50-something and wasted drunk, a good uppercut would knock him out, but then I could kill him, especially if I used a shoryuken.
Luckily, I heard the hiss of the bus arriving. He boarded with me, and I quickly headed for the rear of the bus.
I’d never been so glad to see my housemate K–.
When we got off and I recounted my encounter, she said, “There’s always some crazy-ass people on the bus.”
Now I know why a lot of my friends are afraid to take the bus.