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Welcome to Public Transportation

During the first week of the new school year, I was on the 50. The 50 is a bus typically populated by University students, and of course, because school was back in session, the bus was crowded. All of the seats were full, and there were a ton more waiting on the curb, so I had to slowly shimmy to the back of the bus and stand in that awkward area, where the people in the last row are facing the front staring at you and the people on either side are also facing you, in the center of the aisle. At first, when the bus jerked into movement, there was the uncomfortable silence of students going through their daily routine. Then a man, who was clearly intoxicated, at eleven in the morning, started asking any young female who merely glanced in his direction, what she was studying. Each girl he asked the question to quickly answered and then tried to look distracted and uninterested when he offered an uncomfortably creepy response. One girl said she was pre- med. The drunken man than felt it was his moral responsibility to let the entire bus know, that there was a “smarty pants� gracing us with her presence. At the first stop, several people were going to get off the bus, and of course I was right in the way. As the bus came to a halt, the girl directly to the drunken man’s right flew up and almost shoved me aside. He not so quickly came to the realization that there was an empty seat next to him, and invited me to sit there. I was trapped; there was no way of getting out of this on account of the people flooding onto the bus. So, I gracelessly fell into the seat. Luckily, a girl rearranging her backpack on her lap caught his eye. He opened with his usual line of, “What are you studying?� She politely answered, not seeming to realize how hammered he was. He continued to ask the girl more and more personal questions ranging from what’s your name and where do you live, to what’s your phone number. As he resumed digging deeper and deeper into the nice girl’s life, she was throwing glances of desperation to anyone who met her gaze. Thankfully, the bus slowed to a stop and the doors opened. Most of the people on the bus were getting out, I noticed though, that the nice girl was the first one out of her seat and I couldn’t help but wonder, “was it really her stop, or was she just trying to escape the drunk guy on the bus.� As we were slowly filing out of the bus, I heard the drunken man mutter something along the lines of, “Welcome to public transportation.�