i was pressing my forehead against the window of the 926 on my way to work this afternoon, trying to see into the windows of the houses we passed. this is a habit i developed after one wintry morning last november when i spotted an amorous elderly couple groping in the well-lit window of their suburban rambler. but it's august. and all the elderly people are outside doin the nasty atop war memorials or something.
and all the fucked up people are inside. on the bus. next to me.
i spotted today's subjects during my failed attempt at spying: two acne-scarred teenagers with fading blue mohawks and braces. both wearing matching Social Distortion tee-shirts. they stepped onto the bus, paid their fare, and headed towards the back (AKA Bettina's Territory). they took a seat right next to me, and wasted no time launching into a bout of self-referential banter.
i'm not sure if 'self-referential' is the correct term to describe what i'm talking about. let me try to clarify.
you know when you're in high school, and you're trying to show off in front of a crush that doesn't know you, so you and your friend sit in front of him in social studies class and talk just loud enough for him to hear your conversation, desperately trying to sound witty or shocking in an attempt to catch his attention? you end up spending a lot of the time quickly glancing to the side to monitor his reactions, to see whether or not he's quietly laughing at your jokes.
is this making any sense? let's hope so.
so the one sitting closest to me sits back, crosses his arms and loudly asks his companion
"Hey...what should we set on fire today?"
His friends laughs. "Dude! You're, like, so fuckin crazy, man!"
"I'm a total arson. I'm like beavis, dude. i'm like 'fire! heheheh!fire!hehehehe'."
Let the jury note that this was by far the poorest impression of beavis i have ever witnessed. when the laughter subsided, i hit the jackpot. the self-proclaimed arson leaned over, tapped me on the shoulder and said (i shit you not) "hey, beautiful, you wanna come to the city with me and my boys today?".
i came dangerously close to laughing in his blotchy little face. instead, i politely declined the invitation and returned to my book (which, at this point, was merely a decoy for my eavesdropping).
at the next stop, we were bombarded by a bevy of giggly 15-year-old girls clad in pastel sundresses and white tennies.
the kid next to me immediately pointed out the following to his companion:
"Hey, look! NORMAL people that are afraid of FREAKS like us!"
i think my ninth grade crush, who had burgundy hair and cutting issues, once said that at a pep assembly. and i believe it greatly diminished his appeal.
the pastel girls weren't too keen on them and sat up front next to the driver.
scraping the bottom of the barrel for Things to Say To Make Oneself Appear A Social Misfit, one of my gutter punk admirers turned to his friend and inquired
"hey. what would happen if you microwaved a cat?"
at this point, resistance was futile and i had to feign a coughing fit behind my book to hide my uncontrollable cackling. it's been years since i witnessed firsthand the humiliating spectacle that is Teenage Boys Desperately Trying To Be Different.
a few stops later, they stepped off. but not before i heard the arson suggest that they make some napalm in his garage.
oh blessed, blessed public transport.