Sunday, September 6, 2009

Stream of Consciousness Prose: Taking a bus to work.

In the latest installment of AKIC stream of consciousness prose, inspired by Ulysses by James Joyce, you can live inside my brain as I take the bus to work.

Walking to the Bus Stop:  Guilty -  I always feel so when I leave Tony and Jenny.  But I got to go to work.  The coast is clear.  I don't want to do any stop-and-chats. I must miss 50 or so in a typical year. Sometimes me, sometimes them.  It would be food for thought that I don't need.  Some ignorance is blissful.  I hoped I have timed it right.  Nothing I hate more than just missing the bus.  Geez.  I hope I didn't forget anything.  I turned off the Gas in the stove?  But it was good to get out before Tony woke up.  Oh Oh.  There the bus in the distance.  It is.  It is.  It is.  It is. Number 601.  Not mine...  And there comes the 610.  I won't make it.  I see people standing on it.  So just as well.  If I have to stand, I should take the #25.

At the Bus Stop:  I see a pair of shoes in the bushes.  Who left them there?  Army of Ants attacking a piece of food.  Who is in charge of them?  I'll watch an individual ant and see what it is doing.  That one seems to be moving in semi-circles for no particular reason.  Weird!  There is a man squatting - they use the bathroom the same way.  I wish that guy would stop staring at me.  Is my fly open?  Take the mobile out of your pocket, check the messages.  It seems it is closed.  All these people at the stop.  I hope they are not taking the 25.  I hope I get a seat.  I hope I get a seat.  I hope I get a seat.  I want to read.  And what should I read?  The Iliad?  Paradise Lost?  The Journey to the West?  Beginner's Chinese?  Who has my  copy of Penthouse Letters?  hmmmmm.  The KoW!  The bastard!  I wonder if he has my copy of Homage to Catalonia.  Oh!  Look at that girl!  Nice shanks.  Too bad about her gait.  Most ungraceful.  She wouldn't get a gig dancing with Astaire.  Even if she had big norks.  Look at those workers with those canvas bags.  I hate it when my wife carries those things.  Why can't they get a suitcase or a cheap bag?  That worker is taking his tools of trade on the bus.  Can't afford a taxi.  What a shame. That tall apartment building doesn't appear to have anyone living in yet.  And it is completed.  It looks like a textbook case of over-development if you ask me.  Look!  There are four people on a motorcycle.  And they didn't even slow down for the red light.  That is a family man even.  Two kids on the bike.  People getting dropped off at the stop.  They must live in the deep countryside.  And I ran.  I ran so far away.      Couldn't get away!   Do Do Do, Do, Do!  Flock of Seagulls.  Think of other one hit wonders from my youth.  The night Chicago died!  Brother what a mess it really was!  I heard my momma cry!  I heard her cry the night Chicago died!  Paper Lace  A good heart these days is hard to find!  Feargel Sharkey - used to be with the Undertones.  Jimmy!  Jimmy!  Jimmy!  Oh! Oh!  Jimmy!  Jimmy! Yeah!  I remember a guy named Jimmy he had only nine fingers.  His call sign was V9.  He liked fishing.  He didn't like cleaning.  His wife was Chinese.  His son played ice hockey 12 months a year.  Bobby Orr!  Orr! scores the goal.  The Bruins win the Stanley Cup!   He should have played in '72 against Borkov. In 1970, Boston won the Stanley Cup.  In 1971, Montreal won the Cup.  In 72, the Bruins won the Cup.  In 73, Montreal won the Cup.  The first that I can remember although in fact Dad saw it and could hear it in bed.  in 74 and 75, the Flyers won.  The Philadelphia Flyers that is.  And then 76 to 79, Montreal won four in a row - great time to be a Habs fan.   Anyway, here comes my bus.  People are standing.  Damn!  Kow Damn!  I am going to having to think and stand.....

On the Bus:  Damn!  Why did I put two coins in?  This is not the 610.  This is the 25.  I could take a coin from the next passenger.  I have seen people who  didn't have exact change pay by bills instead.  They take change from the next boarding passengers.  Should I stay in the front or drift to the back?  Go where it doesn't smell so bad.  I should take off my back pack.  Everyone runs into it.  In a bad mood, I wish to swat them.  HOE ME AN!  I think the driver wants everyone to go to the back.  Check out the talent.  She is nice.  With a little sprucing up.  Yozza!  Why do people have to pee in public?  How can the woman carry a baby on the bus with no diaper?  What happens when it takes a piss or shits?  Left on the floor?  Don't think about it.  I hate the people who are going to the train station.  But a taxi is too expensive for them.  Alas!  What fresh horrors await me at work today?  Think about your English Corner.  How to do it?  Need them to talk more.  I don't like having to be like David Letterman, that horrible man, anymore.  Speaking of horrible men.  Obama.  Spiro Agnew had to resign as V.P. because he took bribes in his Baltimore City (The Wire locale!) days.  Obama could have to do the same.  But it will be ignored and glossed over.  David Brooks says conservatives don't like him; only liberals compliment him - but he is never read by conservatives, generally, must say generally, because he writes for the NY Times, propped up by Carlos Slick Slim's money.  Watching the old Astaire movie, he did a song Sinatra later sung.  Just pick yourself up!  Dust yourself off!  And start all over again!  Good song to sing in my English Corner.  Did anything happen in the news that the Chinese care about?  Nothing that I can think of.  How to get at Snowie.  She said she would charge 100 rmb an hour to babysit Tony.  Introduce her as my former fiancee.  I could say what are you going to do to Tony that I will pay 100 rmb an hour?  I just want a babysitter.  Hhmmmmm?  The bus goes past a public square that is next to fancy, new public buildings.  They have 30 flag staffs in front of that bank.  They have flags of many nations, including Canada.  But no Latvia.  Canadian Flag now sucks.  I prefer the old flag with the Union Jack in the corner.  More people coming on the bus.  Drift further to the back.  A grandparent points out the foreigner to his grandson.  Don't look.  Think.  What other classes do I have today?  A private class with one student should be easy.  Crossing the bridge that crosses the canal.  Look at that boat traffic.  It has been that way in China for thousands of year.  Where do they get the fuel for them? That boats, that is.  There are workers planting trees.  There are workers cutting hedges.  Why do they do that?  They should have them do some garbage-picking.  Who makes those decisions?  Seems like a misallocation of labour if you ask me.  Look at the shop with a yard full of refuse besides.  Why don't they clean it up?  Old woman sitting.  Old men seem to like watching traffic.  Leisurely pace of life they have.  Don't care if they live in a dump.  Passing an intersection, I see a street go off into the distance.  I see lots of people doing their business.  I like that view of China.  Crossing a bridge now, I see a canal go off into the distance.  Focus on the greenery, it looks quaint.  Try to ignore the smoke stack that looms over it in the background.  I see a person make a turn without looking.  The bus swerves to avoid him.  The passengers scream which means it may have been a close call.  So many close calls to me aren't to them.  What are all the men on motorcycles waiting for?   Is it cheaper than taking a taxi I wonder.  Do those guys smell.  I don't know if I want to grab onto them.  I have grabbed onto KoW.  In the courtyard, I see a poster of Deng Xiao Ping waving over flowers.  It is the brightest thing in the neighborhood.  Otherwise, everything looks grey and dank.  The bus now turns onto the straightaway that gets us downtown.  Xicheng Road.  Xicheng Lu.  See Cheng in the Loo.  Ha ha.  They treat their roads like loos.  Are these people religious?  They drive like it.  So what if I don't look when I make a turn.  There is always the afterlife! .....   Our Father who art in heaven.  Hallowed be thy name  Thy Kingdom come.  Thy Will be done.  On Earth as it is in Heaven.  Give us this day, our daily bread.  And forgive us our trespasses as they forgive us.  For thine is the heaven, the power, the glory.  Amen!  Does God help the heathens around me?  Just pop yourself up.  Lay yourself down.  And take another crack at the bugger.  What Sinatra album was that?  Swinging Brass?  I hope my sister didn't throw that CD away.  I left my Sinatra CD collection with her.  That stupid ex of hers didn't like Sinatra.  It has turned out he has mental troubles.  Does she still have my Great Books collection from Britannica?  I can only pray. There is a restaurant where the staff dress like Red Guards.  Imagine, an SS restaurant in Germany like that.  Or even a Stasi restaurant.   Five years I have been from Canada.  Too long.  Don't grab onto the handle; I hold onto the bar above.  There is a wholesale market.  Jenny tells me it is not so good.  She did buy a lamp there once.  Somebody has a Nokia phone I hear.  Is that me?  Yes it is?  What does the wife want?  I forgot my lunch she made.  Damn!  I will eat when I get home tonight.  And I only have enough money to catch a cab back.  I will have to go into my stash of coins in my desk.  It was meant to be a Toy fund for Tony.  It never panned out.  Six RMB will get me some eggs, tomatoes, and rice; seven if I decide to take back the food to work.  Do I have any crackers in the bag? Everything I say can offend her.  I keep my mouth shut.  XIA CHE!  XIA CHE!  What is with those people who suddenly get up to get off after the bus has been stopped for twenty seconds.  Dopey.  I see a person now trying to flag the bus down.  They have a dimwitted guilty imploring look.  Don't stop!  We will never get to our destination if they always stop for the latecomers.  But one day it could be you!  That looks like a market, has it been abandoned?   Open stalls. Garbage strewn about.  Now, I see an elementary school.  Looks like every other primary school I have ever seen.  No windows.  No heating.  There is a basketball court with cracks in the pavement.  Passing the Ramada hotel on Xicheng - a swanky looking place within a garbage dump.  Now who goes to Ramada where I live?  Bobby at the Ambassador was told to turn the other way.  He was sprayed with shots.  Sad.  But if he lived?  He would have ended up like Mick Jagger.  A glimpse of a baby's asshole.  Why don't they put diapers on their babies?  What happens if they have to go on the bus?  I remember that time near the old Carrefour - baby's ass exploded with light-brown shit.  The woman holding the baby recoiled like she was holding a howitzer.  I am repeating myself.  Think original thoughts.  Think a long word: slowmotionblahblahblahblingdingleftiesworksuckdrivesmenuts.  Super Bowl One and Two won by the Green Bay Packers.  Super Bowl Three:  New York Jets.  Four:  Kansas City Chiefs.  Five:  Baltimore Colts.  Six:  Dallas Cowboys.  Seven and Eight:  Miami Dolphins.  Nine and Ten:  Pittsburgh Steelers.  After that, I can't remember.  Chinese drivers are terrible mergers I see.  It should be one-after-another; not this fight for space.  That's not cricket, as Orwell says.  Not against the rules; but still not done because it is unseemly and immoral.  The market comes up with an optimal result that we may or may not like.  Markets aren't magic.  Now the bus makes a left turn.  Double turn lane.  Left turn light on.  Look at that man, riding his bike straight through the turning cars.  All the traffic is against him.  He doesn't stop.  One more stop before the Train station.  There I may get a seat.  Xinge Jay Koe!  Sounds like a stop along the Nanjing Subway Line.  Isn't it downtown?  Crossing a bridge.  Green water and algae. Yuck.  Ten more minutes.  I will be at my desk.  Train station!  Everybody goes.  Two seats available.  Let the old men have it.  Next stop:  Baoli.  The family K goes grocery shopping there.  White models on billboards look pale and unhealthy and unattractive.  Another Left turn.  Look a 7 plus 7!  Shit served cafeteria style.  An 85 degree bakery!  Garbage and construction refuse strewn all about.  Inside, new; outside, dump.  Does the fat Dane still live around here?  Never cross paths anymore.  Pros and Cons of Marriage.  I should wash the dishes for Jenny.  But it doesn't make her happy when I do.  What to do?  Halloween, it will be one year almost.  Long time, no see.  Why to see?  Tales of alcoholism?  Tales of divorce?  Someone said:  Chinese woman should shave down there.  Pigs.  Will U X I?  That is what W-U-X-I stands for.  Now we go by Blue Bar.  It is closed.  Should I get off by Ba Bai Ban or the Kedi?   I will get to McDonald's at the same time.  Choose exercise.  Do I have enough time before class?  Yes. Fifty minutes.  But I don't want the extra walking.  Anal about time I am.  U.P.:UP.  Got to get through this light.  Look at that taxi trying to get through by being aggressive.  Stand my ground I do if I am on a bike. Didn't think any Latin.....  Why don't they yield to people getting off the bus!  It is going to be a China day!  

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