Be the first in line to board the bus. Have with you a folding wire shopping cart full of groceries, a pair of rollerblades tied together hanging over your shoulder, a bicycle, two large shopping bags, a backpack, and an open golf umbrella keeping the pouring rain off of you and your items. When the bus pulls up, place your bicycle on the rack on the front of the bus. Have trouble with the bottom lever. Motion for the driver help you. After the driver safely secures your bicycle on the rack on the front of the bus in the pouring rain, say, “Cool.”
Lift your shopping cart onto the stairs of the bus. Don’t forget your two shopping bags! Close your golf umbrella, but do not snap the button. Board the bus. Step to the side so the driver can get back into his seat. Shake your surfer hair style in a cool way.
When the bus begins to move, search for your bus fare in your jeans pocket. Chew your gum with your mouth open. Remark to the driver about how hard the rain is coming down. Now fish for your bus fare in your jacket pocket. Realize your bus fare is in your wallet at the bottom of your backpack.
Remove your backpack and find your wallet while your shopping cart begins to roll down the aisle. Ask the driver how much a bus ride costs. Insert the only two dollars in your wallet into the fare machine. Explain to the bus driver that you don’t seem to have an extra quarter. Mention something about never taking the bus anyway. Receive a quarter for the fare from a stranger in the fifth seat. When he hands it to you, reply, “Cool.” Look for a place to sit.
Take the first bench with the handicapped sign on it. Set your shopping cart in the aisle in front of you. Place your backpack, two shopping bags, pair of rollerblades, and closed-but-not-fastened golf umbrella on the seats next to you on the handicapped bench. Breathe a sigh of relief.
Blindly feel around in your backpack for your music player. Accidentally knock your rollerblades into the aisle. When the high school student standing across from you bends down to pick them up, say nothing. Find your music player, insert your headphones and select your John Philip Sousa playlist. Press play and turn the volume up. Higher. A little higher. Now air drum.
After a few minutes of air drumming, retrieve a newspaper from your backpack. Open it all the way. Search for “The Lockhorns.” Find it, read it, and laugh out loud. Do not hear your cell phone ringing in your jacket pocket while admiring your horoscope. Do not hear it when the caller tries you three more times while contemplating the Sudoku. Disregard when a cantaloupe dislodges from your shopping cart and rolls onto the bus floor.
When the bus pulls up to the next stop and a passenger in a wheelchair needs to board, change your John Philip Sousa playlist to your Rammstein playlist. Pull your shopping cart closer to your legs so the passenger in the wheelchair can squeeze by and situate herself across from you in the other designated handicapped space. Shoot her a big smile.
Fold the newspaper sloppily and return it to your backpack. Remove from your backpack the large Italian sausage sandwich wrapped in foil, dripping in grease. Peel back part of the wrapper and begin eating it. Fail to notice the peppers from the sandwich falling onto your lap. Use your jacket to wipe your mouth after taking your last bite. Roll up the foil wrapper and casually drop it onto the floor. Play the air guitar.
Continue to sink deeper and deeper into a hypnotic state of self-absorption so encompassing and vast that nothing can penetrate it: not the jarring of the bus slamming on its brakes at each stop; not the glaring looks of utter disdain from all 36 customers on the bus with you; not even the mother holding the screaming child eyeing your handicapped bench. Shake your surfer style hair in a cool way.
Do not forget to wear your new running shoes. The ones with the individual toes.