Boarding the bus

at the Port Authority in NYC

stepping over empty beer cans

and old scattered newspapers


heading to Providence, RI

for no particular reason other

than never being there before


I find a seat towards the back

near the bathroom

I take a window seat and open up

A beat up copy of On The Road


I have a cold can of beer

Wrapped in a brown paper bag

The rest of the six pack

is in a small cooler


There’s two people having

an argument about smoking


“Do you know what 2nd hand smoke can do?”


“Get off my back.  It’s the smoking section.”


I sip my beer and dart my eyes

away from an old lady giving me

dirty looks and frowning upon me.


“Weell, fuck you, hag!”

I think but keep it to myself


“. . .that smoke is nauseating.”


“Listen, I don’t wanna hear it.”


I’m hoping we don’t get subjected

to an impromptu fist fight

I no longer have an interest

in the book I brought for the ride


I take another swig of beer

and ignore my favorite old lady

who sniffles at me as she walks by

to the bathroom


“the surgeon general warns. . . “


I’m tired of this smoking debate

that’s starting to get on my nerves.


“I have a right to poison my own lungs.”


“but not mine.”


The argument is getting old

and I feel like thrashing both of them

All I want to do is ride the damn bus

without the non-stop inanity

of these idiots who don’t seem to have

real lives of their own.


so they go out of their way

to aggravate the shit

out of me


but by this point

I’m not even sure it matters

My beer is empty so I put it

in a bag and pull out a new one


It’s doesn’t annoy me anymore

These idiots will be gone

after another painful hour.



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