Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Body Bag

I am not a morning person so in order to make it to my job on time I stay up all night. This is not as difficult as one might imagine. I am allowed to come in when I choose as long as I am done by noon. The public buses start at six so I can be to work at 6:30. I sometimes sleep a little with my sweat shirt wadded up into a pillow. I don't dare lean my head against the glass. Mostly, I stare out the window watching the city slip by me crumbing apartment building after crumbling apartment building. Sometimes I will see a person hurrying to their car but mostly it's deserted. No one on the Earth but the bus driver, a few passengers and me.

This time of morning finds us all quiet.  There is a young black guy who is plugged into his Ipod but he does not move his head or sing. He sits totally still staring down at his legs. In the far back, a woman, who appears homeless, stretches out. Her snores echo against the steel roof. The three of us pretend that the others do not exist. The bus driver is surly and drives too fast over the shitty road, sending us sprawling every time he hits a pot hole.

We come to a stop where we are required to wait. No one ever gets on but each morning we stop. Today there is a flurry of activity surrounding an abandoned building on my side of the bus. Dozens of police cars, their lights whirling without sound, surround a partially boarded up door. I can see the blue of their lights reflect on my hands in the quickening dawn. From the door way, a man ducks down with a stretcher. He is followed by another man who performs the same manuver. On the stretcher is a black body bag. A man with gloves hurries over to unzip the bag. I am glad that I am too far away to see. A white van pulls up and several people disembark with tool boxes in their hands.They scurry under the board. It is all silent.

"Must be that serial killer."

I turn to the voice. It is the young black guy who never talks. He's looking over across the aisle.

"Excuse me?"

"You haven't heard? Some white guy is going around killing hookers. That's a hooker hang out there." He jerks his head toward the building.

He puts his headphones back on as the bus lurches away.

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