Thursday, October 20, 2005

AC Transit #1

Mercedes swung onto the 72 through the back doors. The 6:19 bus. A crowd at the front doors. He quietly slipping inside, flashed his pass and slipped to the back of the bus and into one of the few remaining seats. The crowd, all men, and almost all black, was quiet, gazing out the window or nodding off.

Somebody in the back was talking; Mercedes looked up from his lap and across the aisle. The man was talking to himself; not on the phone or to the guy sitting uncomfortably next to him, but to the space between all the passengers. Preacher talk.

"The Bible says fornication is a sin! And that he who sins calls down a plague upon his house. That fornicator Clinton--"

A man behind Mercedes spoke. "Don't you go saying nothing against Clinton! I got a job these days. Don't you bad-rap him."

Preacher man looked slyly at the great fornicator's defender, then continued in a similar vein. "The man who fornicates is unclean! Unholy! Ungodly! Far from God, brother. A man who would be clean needs to read his Bible..."

On and on and on, block after block. Christ, how far is Preacher man riding this bus? Mercedes, and several men around him, figeted in pained silence.

"The sin of the fornicator--"

A white guy in front of Mercedes spoke up suddenly. In a very loud voice, he cut off Preacher man by saying, "Hey, who on this bus would rather read the bible...or get some pussy?"

Preacher man couldn't make himself heard over the raucous laughter, and was off the bus at the next stop.

Mercedes smiled as he text-messaged Shanice. I'll vote for pussy every time.

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