Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I’m Going Home

Dear Diary,

Todd and I boarded a bus bound for Toronto, my hometown, to see my wife for the first time in eighteen months after I abandoned her, penniless, in debt and pregnant. I wonder what the baby's favorite color is. Mine is magenta.

We would have left earlier but we had previous commitments in New York City where we perform as a comedy duo in clubs. Friday night, after the first few minutes, we were booed at with an overabundance of graphic profanities and had to end our show which was nice since it meant getting to the alleyway at a reasonable hour where we slept for the night. Saturday night, most of the audience clutched one another as they rushed the stage to mow us down. We rehearsed for the first time ever on Sunday so that our new audience wouldn't be so stand-offish, and it definitely paid off with what I thought was a fantastic show except that we were shot at, and someone threw an axe.

As the bus pulled out of the Port Authority Bus Terminal, I went to the washroom at the back of the bus and locked the door. I refused to come out, with many passengers banging at the door, needing to "go". I announced that I was not budging until the bus driver turned the bus around. There was no way I was going back home.

The driver, a tall, burly fellow, pulled the bus over, walked to the back, unlocked the washroom door with a key, yanked me out and proceeded to shove me down the aisle.

ME: Is this a new service on the bus: drivers make sure you get back safely from the washroom to your seat? It'd be even nicer if you weren't so rough, or if you let customers actually finish before you unlock the door yourself.

BUS DRIVER: You're getting off.

TODD: Please, bus driver, he won't do it again.

ME: I won't. I promise... on my grandmother's grave.

The bus driver stopped, pushed me down in the seat next to Todd and went back behind the wheel, driving off. And I was back in the washroom, locking the door.

ME: I'm not getting out until that lard-ass bastard turns this baby around. I don't care.

Within seconds, the driver was hauling me out of the washroom and jostling me down the aisle.

TODD: Please, bus driver, he won't do it again.

ME: Yes. I promise. I swear on my grandmother's grave, and this time it's the grandmother I really like. The other one, I wasn't so crazy about.

BUS DRIVER: I don't care. You're off. Now.

ME: Please, please, please.

TODD: Please, please, please.

ME: You can't abandon me on the highway. I'll be lost.

BUS DRIVER: You should have thought of that before you decided to stop passengers from using the washroom.

ME: People started peeing in the aisle at the back. You may not know it but I could smell it.

BUS DRIVER: Let's go.

ME: Those people back there peed in the aisle! They should get off too! This is outrageous!

The bus driver heaved me toward the front.

ME: I'm just going back to my wife whom I abandoned, pregnant, eighteen months ago with a debt in the mid six figures. I've never contacted her or bothered to find out if she had a boy or a girl. I'm just trying to make amends.

FEMALE PASSENGER IN HER FIFTIES: You should let him face the music. He needs to do this.

MALE PASSENGER: Yeah. Let him take responsibility for what he's done.

TODD: I implore you.

ME: Please, bus driver. Let me go.

I started a chant.

ME: Let him go! Let him go!

I looked around for others to join in.

ME: Let him go! Let him go!

Nobody did.

BUS DRIVER: All right, but no more locking yourself in the washroom.

ME: And no more peeing in the aisle at the back, okay everyone? Please use the washroom.

And with that I sat back down. Once the bus was back on the road, I was back in the washroom, locking the door and yelling that I wasn't coming out until the bus turned around.

But this time, the bus rolled on.

ME: Hello, is anybody listening to me?

I opened the door to take a peek out.

ME: Bus driver, there's people peeing in the aisle back here. It's the woman in the blue hat, and the man in the plaid pants.

The bus rolled on.

ME: Aren't you going to do something about it, you pee-wherever-you-want-lover? I hate you!

I slammed the door... over and over again.

ME: Turn this bus around! Turn this bus around!

I started signing like Aretha Franklin.

ME (singing): Turn this bus around! Turn the bus around before my heart hits the ground! Turn this pee-lovin' bus around!

No one paid attention.

I climbed out the washroom window and up to the metallic roof. I banged on the roof, screaming bloody murder. For an hour. Still the bus rolled on.

I swung from the roof and kicked a few windows, smashing one right through, and cracking the windshield, screeching like a banshee. Still the bus rolled on.

Todd was sitting alone in the middle of the bus when he heard me crying like a toddler as I walked back down the aisle from the washroom.

I sat beside him, still bawling. Todd put his arm around me and pulled me in so that my soaked cheek fell against his shoulder.

TODD: I'm proud of you. You're finally growing up.

I sobbed some more.

ME: I don't have any strength left in me. I give up.

I pulled out a long, thick piece of gleaming metal I had broken off during my rooftop sojourn.

ME: You have to hit the bus driver over the head with this.

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