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Angry Bus Passenger-What Would You Do?

23weekend600The other day, a friend of mine, Christa, sang beautifully and soulfully at this spiritual community that I am part of. She combined 2 songs-“Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child” and “Summertime.” The 2 songs spoke about 2 different sides of us, “sometimes I feel so alone I don’t feel connected to anyone and sometimes I feel so loved and so protected.”
I was on the #7 bus yesterday going from my exercise studio back up to my office in Harlem. I usually experience much kindness on the bus line. Many of the men and women are elderly, young mothers with strollers, and many of all ages with physical disabilities. This particular day I was sitting up front in the 3 seater for folks with physical challenges. I was the only one sitting on my side. I had been outside since 7am, and it was a cool, fall day, so I had on my usual funky dress of a black lace top, skirt, tights, fun knee socks, my comfortable elf looking shoes and my bright green raincoat that I had bought 3 years ago for my trip to Scotland.
I’m sitting quietly looking out the window, and then I hear someone muttering to me, and I turned towards this male voice and said “What did you say?” And, I realized at that moment he was crazy and angry. He began ranting on and on. His face was contorted with anger, seeming to be in his 50’s, black, nicely dressed with a denim jacket, navy blue pants and a cane. He kept muttering obscenities “You fucking bitch”, he kept saying over and over, and I immediately got up and walked towards the back to a young mother and her baby who I had spoken to earlier while we were waiting for the bus. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I see the man get up from the front seat and walk towards the back, while walking past me and stepping on my heel. I was so scared and angry and I wanted to kill him, really kill him.
I then went back to the front of the bus and sat down again. Many stops later an elderly woman gets on with the help of her walker and her daughter. Her daughter immediately finds a seat for the two of them to sit together. The next thing I hear is this man yelling out “hey, lady, hey lady, you in the green coat, get up from the disabled seats, you’re not disabled.” He’s yelling this over and over again. I ignored him, I knew he was crazy and didn’t want to add more fuel to the fire. But in my head I was saying “you fucking bastard, I am disabled, but you can’t see it because you are so fucking angry and crazy.”
The passengers were quiet trying to ignore him, shaking their heads. Finally, relief, my stop at ll7th Street and 8th Avenue. I get off the front and he gets off the back.
“Oh My God”, I say to myself, and I begin walking as fast as I could with my lousy knees. One block away was a safe haven, Karrot, my favorite organic health food store, owned by this wonderfully funny man, Carlos. I opened the door to the store and I hear “SHERREE, HOW YA DOING?” I sit down. I felt safe but scared. Then those 2 songs come back in my head. “Sometimes I feel like a motherless child” and “Summertime when the living is easy and you’re mommy and daddy standing by.”

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 6th, 2009 at 8:27 am and is filed under Industry News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

4 Responses to “Angry Bus Passenger-What Would You Do?”

  1. bleurowz Says:

    This is such a wonderful story, and I LOVE the connection between the songs and the experiences on the bus and in the store.

    But to answer the question, what would I do if I was on a bus with someone like that — knowing me, I think I would just be freaked out so much I’d need to get off the bus at the next stop! But that’s just me.

  2. christa victoria Says:

    Wow Sherri,

    I could feel your experience as I read every word. It must have been horrifying, especially when he got off at the same stop. These are troubled souls that are, as well, attracted to the light. They just don’t know the proper way to get to the light, so they do what they normally do, in order to get the attention needed to feed their spirit. He seems so hungry spiritually that I could also feel his pain as well as your uncomfortableness. The lonliness of metaphorically being a ‘motherless’ child hits us all at one point or another in our lives. Fortunately, the light at the end of the tunnel was there for you with love, warmth as well as a safe haven, just as in the loving and watchful eye of ‘Mommy and Daddy standing by’.

    The songs I meshed came to me the morning of service at Tribeca Spiritual Center. I hadn’t a clue what I was going to sing, nothing came. I don’t know why because something always comes. Those two songs appeared the morning of.

    So thank you for sharing your story as I get chills from your close encounter with dark and with light.

    Christa Victoria

  3. joanie watkins Says:

    Thanks Christa, for your lovely response.

  4. sherri rosen Says:

    Thanks Christa, for your lovely response.

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