It was Sunday. The temperatures had dropped dramatically and as I was just about ready to pee my pants for some sense of warmth, yet another Broadway bus passes me by. Where oh where is the Clark #22? But alas! Just as I finished my 37th jumping jack to get my blood circulating once again a mysterious bus, sans any route number, pulls up. The bus driver motions to me that this is in fact the Clark bus.
I hope aboard, beep beep my CTA card, and am relieved to look up and find that I will not be grouped inappropriately by other members of the bus this evening. I proceed down the aisle until I hear the bus driver calling me back. What happened next went as follows:
Bus Driver: Excuse me ma’am…
Moi’: Oh, yes?
BD: Didn’t I see you earlier today?
M: Umm…I don’t know. Maybe? (polite and slightly nervous laughter)
BD: I saw you walking on the street and I thought to myself: ‘Ohhh, that girl in the brown boots right there is. so. fine. I wish. I was. her boyfriend.’
M: —- (stunned look)
Quickly look around to see if I’m being Punk’d or Hidden Camera-ed, then remember those shows no longer exist. Remember that new, dreadful looking show “Howie Do it” with Howie Mandel where H. Man dresses incognito and pranks people. Check for hit of baldness with a side of triangular-shaped facial hair that resembles lip drool. Hm, nope.
BD: Now you have yourself a very happy new year.
M: Ha! Thanks! You too!
I walk towards the back of the bus feeling like the hottest thing to step on bus #22 since 2008 and sit down. Then, as if I didn’t already love this overweight, hairy bus driver enough, he does something to make the entire bus fall under his spell. Apparently the number display outside the bus wasn’t the only thing not working on this bus. (Sure glad those CTA hikes happened.) Its intercom announcing the upcoming stops was also bust. So, in the sultry, seductive likeness of Billy Dee Williams, the driver begins to announce each stop in the exact manner as the automated voiceover. The bus is delighted! (read: the bus is me. the other eight people don’t giving a flying fuck or don’t notice because they’re busy jammin’ to the likes of “Pussy Monster” by Lil’ Wayne.)
Oh. Here comes my stop. (“Approaching Clark and Aldine/School.”) How shall I plan my exit? Do I go out of my way to exit through the first door near my CTA lover? Do I give him a gentle nipple squeeze on the way out to show my appreciation? Perhaps I could do a discreet boob grab while exiting the rear doors? Nah. I’ll just walk out. But oh that bus driver, he wouldn’t just let me sneak on by… As I wait for the bus to drive past me so I can cross, he in slow-motion waves to me and gives me a look as if to say, “I will haunt your dreams forever.”
And he has.