Older, friendly, a little too drunk for 7:30 in the morning, yes that is a value statement, man on the way to the VA on the bus: Why so happy?

Me: (internal sigh, I am perpetually tired of this question) It's early. (Tired smile).

Him: You going to work or something?

Me: Right. I work part time in the Vice President of Research's office.

Him: I'm going to the VA. Got myself an appointment today. Gotta go to detox. Gotta go get sober. Or that's what they say - my case manager. Went and poured all my beer down the fridge, you believe that? Gonna go to inpatient today. They took all my credit cards away, you believe that? Pay my rent and give me $15 a week for allowance. You know what I do with that?

Me: What's that?

Him: Buy alcohol! (Slaps leg, guffaws - no kidding - guffaws). What you doing here?

Me: Going to work.

Him: You work full time?

Me: Part time. I'm in school.

Him: For what?

Me: Social Work.

Him: Oh, that? You the enemy! (laughs loudly and I cannot help it - I laugh too. I like this man.)

Me: The enemy? I want to see inpatient work for you!

Him: Oh, that? They gonna put me on Antabuse. You know what that is?

Me: *I* know what that is, but I'm wondering if YOU know what that is.

Him: I donno. Some medicine.

(God bless this man and the journey he's about to go through).

Him: I still gotta credit card to buy alcohol with. You wanna see it? Here, I'll show it to you!

(Sure enough).

Me: I think this might be your stop.

Him: You right, you right. You take care. Don't be the enemy, now.


I'm very popular on the bus up to the VA. Tell Shoes all the time about all my new boyfriends. Happens every week, friends. Every week. I attract randomness in the greatness of all things random. And Shoes now insists that we're going to ride the bus up on his next visit. I say no. I say, this randomness? It's all mine.

How else to get through statistics and macro theory?


  1. t i m on April 20, 2010 at 4:50 PM

    No-one hardly ever strikes a conversation with strangers on my daily public transport travels as they usually have loud music blaring from portable devices or they’re buried in some reading material if not rowdily talking to their pals.

    The next time I see a friendly face on the train, maybe I'll instigate, what's the worst that could happen...

  2. How did I get here? on April 23, 2010 at 8:14 PM

    You lead the most fascinating life...

  3. Lisa on April 23, 2010 at 10:02 PM

    Tim, maybe it depends on where you ride the train to that makes the difference ... nobody says word one to me on my other bus! And I'd LOVE to hear the conversations you could strike up!

    R - oh no. Just Monday and Tuesday mornings. ;P


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