Joey’s on my bus again. It’s just the two of us this time because everyone else has had the good sense to get home early. For being spring it’s still really fucking cold out.

In case I haven’t mentioned it before, there are some things that you should know about Joey. He’s very sweet, in a child-like kind of way and he means well. He’s also really annoying at times and I’m pretty sure he’s schizophrenic. The former can sometimes make up for the latter.

Oh, and, for the record, I never give out my name or the town where I actually live because let’s be real, people are fucking crazy and I’m not about to lead Crazy to my Facebook page or invite Crazy over for a beer.

Joey makes his way to the front of the bus. “It’s just the two of us now, Beautiful!”

“Yep, it appears to be so.”

“Where do you live?”

I say, “Moss Landing.” It’s my stock response to the question and it’s close enough to the truth.

Joey gets excited. “It’s almost as pretty in Moss Landing as it is in Boulder Creek. Oh, I bet you have a nice house!”

“Yeah, it’s pretty nice, I guess.”

“And I bet you have all kinds of really nice things!”

“Um, yeah, I guess so. I have some cool stuff.”

“What about art!? Do you have any art? I have some PIECES at home.”

I can’t help but laugh at the way he exaggerated the word “pieces” like it’s some kind of special art world term that makes him sound extra knowledgable. “Yeah, I have some nice art. I have a few artist friends.”

“Do you want to come to my house?” He stage whispers to himself “(No, she doesn’t. She wants to go home.)”

“Ha, no thanks Joey, I need to go home.”

“Yeah, okay, I know. You probably want to go home to your really nice house with all your nice things.”

“Yep. Hey, your stop is coming up.”

“Oh yeah! Okay! My stop!” “(No, she’s not coming home with you. She has to go home to her house!)”

I pull off to the side of the road and watch him as he gathers up his bags. He looks like he could be someone’s uncle or brother. Dude just got dealt a shitty hand. I resolve to be a little bit nicer to him from now on, or at least try to be. He tries my patience, but let’s be honest, most people do.

He looks up and tries to catch my eye. He smiles and waves at me with his little boy smile, “Goodbye beautiful driver!” Then he blows me something like 4 kisses in quick succession.

I can see out of the corner of my eye that he’s waiting for me to turn and make eye contact with him but I don’t. Resolving to be nicer doesn’t mean being stupid. If I make eye contact I’ll spend the next 5 minutes trying to get him to shut up and leave. I smile at the steering wheel and  busy myself with the defroster. I give him a little wave, “Goodnight Joey, I’ll see you soon.”

He blows me two more quick kisses before jumping out of the bus and scurrying up the hill toward his house and his PIECES.


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