I am very aware of myself in public spaces. Some might even say hyper aware of the physical space I inhabit, but also the headspace in which I find myself. I like to retreat into myself in public spaces. Perhaps it’s a part of the hidden introvert that I nurture. Either way, I know that I am especially aware of myself on public transportation. In Tucson, this public system would be called Sun Tran, one of the scariest places on Earth.
Does the anonymity of speaking one’s mind on the bus still remain if you ride the bus with the same person for weeks and months and sometimes years on end? Does it make a difference that we are not intimately related if I still know all the intimate details of how your boyfriend refuses to go down on you, or how you’re hiding out from your old lady because she found the drugs rolled up and hidden when you mistakenly handed her your pack of cigarettes? What makes it okay to bring me into your confidences without first asking my permission? It’s an amped up version of bad words in public.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I have the mouth of a sailor, as my mother often reminded me, However, it still makes me cringe when I hear a young man or young woman sitting at the back of the bus say in their most bravado voice any of the four-letter words that wouldn’t be said in front of grandma. Undoubtedly, someone’s grandma is on board. And you know who she is because, just like me, she’s staring disgustedly at the youth in question with her mouth turned up in a snarl. I’m sorry, Grandma. We just ain’t raising ‘em right.
Even worse than that is when a short 20-minute ride to work turns into a moral dilemma as I contemplate whether or not I should be making a citizen’s arrest. Don’t make me suffer by discussing drug deals in front of me. Or about your cousin Paco who’s about to go smoke some fool this lovely summer evening. It’s not fair. What if I knew that fool? So what that I don’t? Even if this fool smoked your Paco’s wife last week (who for drama’s sake is 8 months pregnant), smoking the fool isn’t going to bring her back. It won’t bring back Paco’s darling little girl that he was going to name Jennie. It won’t stop him from sitting in the baby’s room and crying when no one’s around. And letting me overhear it on the bus isn’t winning you any brownie points. I don’t condone public drug deals, and I don’t condone smoking any fools.
People have no sense of propriety anymore. I mean, I blog about some personal things, but I like to think my blog is an invitation to enter my world. I don’t force it upon anyone. I know plenty of readers probably do a quick about face after reading a few lines. And that’s okay. It’s their choice to read or not. I can’t say the same for folks like Paco’s cousin.
It’s time to get a car. Damn Sun Tran.