We all waited at the bus stop.
It was my ride with a grim reaper that would only threaten to lay his boney hand on my shoulder instead of getting the job done and giving me the fatal pat on the back.
It wasn't her ride at all, but a point in time where she could wave goodbye and consider me gone until we see each other again. It's where she'd remember my departure .
But it was so much more than that to him. This was his car pool to a job where he had already done the work for but not received a paycheck, and he wasn't even close to earning minimum wage, and he didn't have a choice to whether or not he could work.
We commented on how this would be his payday. I think you said something around the lines of "that guy's going to fucking score today" as you looked at what had collected. His bags that probably weighed more than he did. He held hours worth of gathering glass and plastic , no doubt that he was ready to make some cash. I grinned and said something typical of me like "totally"or "yeah, man."
However, this is where I fucked up. This is where I failed to realize I personally was in charge of getting that man to a recycling station. I was his bus driver, his co-worker allowing him a car pool, and maybe even his fucking boss. As was everyone on that bus. But we all fucked up, and I hope I'm not the only one who realized that.
When he stepped on the bus, with money in hand, ready to pay for his bus ride like everyone else, and the real driver of that bus told him to get off...well it immediately got my attention. Being human I at first tried to come up with a rational reason for why she would not allow him to get on the bus like the few of us who were all ready sitting on this very vacant transit ..I was quickly coming up with reasons to justify her hatred, determined not to believe that humans are capable of such fucking evil and shittiness,
'it must be because the bottles take up too much room'
Nope. Some people's suitcases took up even more space
'maybe he doesn't have the money to even pay for the bus'
Nope he has money in his hand
I watched them argue. I watched him try his hardest to defend himself and his rights. I heard some old fucking bastard yell "Just make him get off ! he's not worth our time." I watched the older man sitting next to me roll his eyes. I clutched onto the metal bar thinking to myself "get involved, Deanne. Say something ,Deanne. What the fuck are you doing ,Dee?Don't just sit here and act like this shit is okay"
The discrimination went on for about another five minutes until I couldn't take it anymore and tried to protest by yelling " He's allowed on the bus!", a pretty dumb thing to say but it's all that came into my mind other than passionately felt cusses, but all that came out of me was a scratchy noise that hardly got much farther than my lips. It was hard to see because my eyes were blurry and my face felt swollen and hot, and there was a lump in my throat, and all the fucking classic signs of being frustrated and scared into crying that you could possibly think of were applying to me at this moment, and with this anger I only sunk into the walls of the bus and became an apathetic drone like those who were sitting around me. I let myself be a passerby until the man finally stepped down from the bus's steps.
Before the driver left she phoned the police. She gave them his description. All I did was silently cry, and thankfully one man finally said the words that I was for some reason unable to say. A slight relief of my extreme frustration with myself and the situation. He argued with the bus driver. She told him it was her job to report it, he told her it was his right to be on this bus.
I stayed on the bus too. I did the exact thing I am against and made up of on that bus ride. I proved to myself once again that my emotions are always going to have control over my rational and intelligent thinking. I am made up of these stupid fucking emotions that only tell me to avoid conflict at all costs. And where has that ever gotten me? Well, other than an undeserved trip to the next bus that I had to transfer onto, it has only given me complete loathing of myself , guilt, and depression. All these years thinking I have been avoiding conflict for myself, when really I've only been doing the exact opposite. Creating more, because I never deal with anything.
I didn't stop thinking about my horribleness until I got home. All I could think of is how I should have acted, how I should have stood up for what I believe in, how I should have gotten off the bus in some sort of half ass protest, how I should have talked to the bus driver, how I should have gotten off the bus and given that man twenty dollars for his work in case he was now not going to be allowed on any other bus, and most of all how extremely worried I was that the cops were going to go interrogate him on the street and might even beat the shit out of him if he stood up for himself.
I sat lifeless the entire ferry ride home. I thought about how I would poetically write about it on here. Then I thought about how strangely selfish and light hearted that would be. Then i remembered I was incapable of writing poetry.Then I decided I wouldn't write about it at all because I didnt understand the complexities of emotions that were my reason for doing so. In fact I considered not telling anyone about it because I felt so guilty. I didn't find any relief from thinking about the incident until I met my mom at the ferry pick up.
Then I got home and I forgot about it until this morning, and I felt terrible about it again. So I decided to write about it, and write terribly to convey how crazy it all still feels and felt.
I guess incidents like those are almost an everyday occurence to the people of Vancouver. Is that why they have become so dulled by it? How could they have possibly let themselves become so numb? Was I just doing the exact same thing? Maybe they feel the same silent frustration as I did?
Wouldn't they have learned from it like I'm learning now ? Wouldn't they stop being silent and start speaking out?
They can't all be full of the same prejudice that the bus driver and the old man were.
I'll feel guilty about that bus ride every time I'm reminded of it, and so I should.
I severely fucked up.And anyone who ever trys to tell me different to comfort me is fucking full of shit. It's important to feel shitty about being shitty.
I need to get over this inability to communicate how I feel.
I think maybe, for the first time in years, I've finally been given a reason, or the motivation to do really change this problem with avoidance that I have.
Not that learning that was worth the man with the bottles' not getting money for his work.
p.s. Nobody suffers from capitalism. Capitalism is great , right? Furthermore, Canada is fucking awesome. We're all such fucking angels. And nobody hates homeless people, we all feel sympathy for them, and the cops are their heroes.