A couple is having a — ahem! — personal argument in the back corner of the bus.
Woman: “It only lasted one minute. I’m going to start calling you Minute Man.” She scoots forward in her seat and begins to shout. “Minute Man! Minute Man!”
Man: “Come on! It was at least three.”
A thirtysomething man finds a seat near the door, directly in front of an elderly woman in a wheelchair.
Woman: “Good morning. How are you?”
Man: “Somebody took my wallet.”
Woman: “At least you had one for somebody to take.”
A sixtysomething woman stands near the front door looking for her fare. Her purse-digging delays the driver long enough that a forty-ish man running at full speed is able to make it to the stop before the bus pulls away. He walks past the woman on his way to his seat, breathing hard but still looking sharp in a black Kangol and blue silk shirt.
The woman raises her eyebrows.
“You didn’t have to do all that.” she mutters. “You look too good for all that running.”
A group of middle-aged people, dressed like teenagers and walking a tiny dog, board at Broadway. They make their way to the back, chattering as they go.
Woman 1: “I’d rather talk to people I don’t know.”
Woman 2: “I know, me too. After people get to know me, they’re like, ‘I don’t like you. You’re a b*tch.’”
Woman 1: “Tr*mp hates black people. His brother said he would pay black people to leave the country.”
Woman 2: “Girl, I’ll take that offer. How much?”
A group of young women are passing the long wait for our bus with conversation.
Woman 1: “It’s the body’s attempt at achieving equilibrium. I learned that in psychology.”
Woman 2: “Girl took one psychology class, and now she’s an expert.”
Woman 1: “Two, honey. Two. I failed one and then took it again.”
Moments after the kids and I step off the bus (on our way to the Water Taxi for a summer adventure), a 50-ish Latino man approaches and hands me a business card for his wife’s hair shop, which has recently opened somewhere nearby.
“My wife is black,” he explains, “so she’s specializes in black hair. Braids, barber services…” He stops to look at us more closely, then hesitates. “Also Middle Eastern hair. Erm. All kinds of hair.”
A young black woman with a beautiful, medium length, natural hairstyle exits a building near the stop and walks to it. Two middle-aged white men exit shortly after her and pause to chat on their way down the hill. Seconds into the conversation, one of them says, “[Rachel], your hair is the talk of the office.”
She smiles uncomfortably. “Really? Hopefully, my performance is as well.”
“I liked the way we smoked back in the day, as opposed to now; I liked sneaking it.”
A sixtyish man is sitting in front of me, looking out the window as we creep up James. We pass a handful of people standing on the sidewalk near the jail. Among them is a black priest.
The man snorts in disbelief. “Why would a black person take a vow a poverty? We’re born poor!”