Sleeping on the bus: Hoy no.
The rumblings of the bus relax me. The clatter, honks, and squeals become one and I doze off to what is mi urban song.
Algo, something hits me in the face. It actually sticks to the very corner of my mouth, hanging off my lips.
Mis ojos, my eyes are still closed, but I’m awake and can feel something hard in the corner of my mouth. For a split segundo I decide if I should use my right hand or my tongue to explore this foreign object that has interrupted my slumber.
Click. Nic. Click. Pah.
You’ve got to be fucking kidding me. I know that sound. I know that fucking sound. I open mis ojos with my lips firmly pressed together holding the foreign object in its place. I know that fucking sound. I know what is stuck to my mouth and I’m afraid to move it. Hijo de una….
Look at that… Look what is going on here.
How many fucking fingernails does this woman have? I finally grab the piece of her body from my mouth and hold it in my hand. Like tissue paper, I had to look at it. I even showed it to the woman sitting next to me. I leaned into the aisle and very quietly said:
Um, mam’, your fingernails are going everywhere.
“Why don’t you MAAAAHND yo’ fuckin’ bizness, motha’ fucka’.”
She said this very loudly. On a bus, in DC, in my neighborhood, you don’t want attention. On a good day, no one bothers you and all is bueno. Well, I had a piece of nail in my mouth. It was a dirty piece of nail and while I can appreciate someone maintaining their fingers, I don’t think they should do it in a public place.
Well, you’re right mam’, it’s not really my business. But you see this in my hand? This, mi amiga, is your nail. It hit me in the face. So, it’s my business now.
Ay, Dios. I’ve embarrassed her. The bus driver looked at me from his rear-view-mirror, shook his head and laughed.
“You fuckin’ illegals think you own this fuckin’ place. Why don’t you shut the fuck up?”
I’m in a mood now. It’s suddenly mi time of the month. El Guapo is officially pissed.
Well, yeah, sorry about all of us coming here and taking over. Just tell me this, are you going to take off your shoes and start on your feet next? Because if so, I’m moving to the back of the bus. I smile. It’s a great smile.
Now, I’m an attraction. People are staring and laughing. This is the El Guapo show on the 54 bus. Great…
Then, the woman looked at me, shook her head, and laughed.
“You’re right.” She laughs out loud, puts the clipper in her winter coat pocket, points at me and says, “You’re all right, Jose. I like you. My bad ya’ll.”
For a moment, for un segundito, I thought about telling her not all of us were named Jose. But you know what, who gives a shit?
She gets off at the next stop. I’m just glad she didn’t beat my Guatemalan ass.