Dogs Don't Roll Over
Written by: Alex Sandell
The Crusher Sitting Beside Me
The overweight, hippy busdriver who plays Barry Manilow and wants me to shave, drives painfully slow. I keep looking at my watch, knowing that I will be late. "Could you maybe go the speed limit?" I ask. He gives me his typical condescending look as he sniffles and scratches his balls. I stand stupidly, hanging onto the seat beside me and wondering how I could tactfully hijack the bus, without the driver getting upset.
Instead, I remind him, "if Im late, I could be fired." He coughs and wipes a string of phlegm and saliva from his lower lip. "You could always walk," he retorts. To get away from this stinky-being, I move about three rows back, in front of a blackjack dealer with big hands that they call "The Crusher" and behind an older lady that I have never seen before. Maybe the old lady will offer me her seat.
The dumb girl who doesn't lose any sleep worrying about wind taking her away is sitting beside the Crusher. When she catches me glimpsing at her, she cheerily greets me with a "Hiiiiii . . .," as though we hadn't been talking outside only moments before. I return a bumbling smile as I greet her with a pleasant "hello," hoping more and more that that old chick will give up her seat.
The Crusher asks the dumb, rooster-girl "who is he?" and, sadly, I hear her response of "nobody."
At 5:43 PM, we finally get past the mile mark, only seven more to go, with 45 mph speed limit and a shuttle that is going all of 10. My shift begins in two minutes and, I still have to get to wardrobe, and change. I watch a cow having a bowel movement as we pass a farm. I shake my head at the reckless motorcyclist who passes us at 80 miles per hour and comes inches away from a head on collision with the old man in a Mercedes coming from the other direction. I see a little kid with a beaming smile and a snowball in his hand running toward his warm country house.
I dream of childhood and wish I could be ten years old again and not have to worry about rent or a job. I see the kid slip on the ice and smack his head on the porch steps. I can hear him crying to mother and decide that being a kid wasn't really that great after all.
The Crusher and the dumb girl who likes her job momentarily captivate me. I peep inside a couple minutes of their mundane talk.
Crusher: . . . and I was really fucked up at
point and I just wanted to go home . . .
Dumb girl who hates me: So why didn't you?
Crusher: Well, that's what I'm saying, Dave
Dumb girl who hates me: Didn't you have your car?
Crusher: Yeah, but I was too drunk to drive.
Dumb girl who hates me: That sucks.
Crusher: Yeah, it did. (He changes the subject,
do this, 'cause he's the Crusher.) Do you got any
Dumb girl who hates me: Why, do you want
I lose interest in spying on their conversation somewhere into the second minute of their fervent laughing. I turn to look at the passing field. The mystical field that contains the magical dream tree. As soon as I see it, it begins working its magic on me.
Go to: Chapter 4
©1997 Alex Sandell but, if you're a book publisher and, you wanna get this puppy out, please get in touch with me, hand me a nice, big contract and, of course, a 12 pack of Grape Soda and maybe we can do lunch.
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