Maynard Soloman takes the bus
I use public transportation, and I've worked evening for years, so I had a certain sympathy with Sobieck's story "Maynard Soloman Takes the Bus to a Strip Club," and not just for its opening line: "A gas station corn dog is the only thing in life that won’t lie to you."
No, I like the story for its gritty, no-bull urban realism:
"I tromp to a bus stop a block away. I hope my old saying about public transportation isn’t still true:
“`Public transportation is great unless you have to use it.'Read my first rave about Sobieck and his noble, dyspeptic protagonist.
***"I flip a shiny nickel to the bus driver and scoot down the aisle before she can say anything. She can keep the change, see. I lug around enough loose coin already.
"The place is gal-damn packed. Smells worse than I thought, too. Like old fish reheating on a car radiator. Could be whatever that one guy over there is eatin’ outta that gun boat. Shit, that smells something awful.
"But it don’t smell half as bad as how that abomination on that other guy’s face looks. It could have its own Social Security number. Next to him is a gal looking ready to chuck a dummy.
"Oh, and have a look-see over there. It’s another road sister reading from a Bible. Loudly. I hear every other word, because some jackass with a boombox has this horseshit thug music at full volume. The thing cuts in and out. Either that or he’s listening to the edited version. I can’t tell.
"Still, a boombox? This freak musta hopped on in 1985 and never got off.
"Seems to be the state of most of the human wreckage in here. This bus, it isn’t taking them anywhere. They’re already here. This is the cheapest hotel in town."
© Peter Rozovsky 2012