There is a certain happiness sighted when your bus comes along. It is of course a small specialized form of happiness and will never be a great thing.

-Richard Brautigan, The Old Bus

Monday, July 16, 2007


I looked down at my feet. I feel it necessary. I checked the sock color match. I don't know why I bother. I wouldn't have time to return home to fix any errors prompted by my rush to catch my morning bus.

Immediately in front of my shoes I noticed a hand-painted message on the curb.

"B.S.", it declared. And if any doubt remained, the message was punctuated with an arrow pointing at me.

I don't know why I had not noticed the message before. The white paint didn't look particularly fresh, but it didn't look faded or worn either -- a timeless message.

As I puzzled over whether to take the message personally, I noticed that across the street was an identical message -- "B.S." -- but with the arrow pointing away from me and toward the sidewalk on that side of the street. No one was standing there.

It all seemed an amateurish relative of the "art" I have found stenciled on the Midtown sidewalks during my afternoon walks. The artists in this suburban wasteland don't have the opportunities of the lawnless hoards of the city. No, here one is more likely to find street art limited to the coded messages telling ditch diggers an area is free from underground utilities.

"B.S.", indeed.

When the bus stopped I boarded and took my customary seat in the elevated section at the rear. I took out my notepad and scribbled my B.S. thoughts and then I took out my book and read for the remainder of the trip to work.


Queen of Dysfunction said...

Are you sure I wasn't behind you? Like maybe it wasn't personal, meant for you. Maybe it was meant for someone else. Like me. Or your neighbor.

John said...

I'm having fun.

I have NO idea why, but someone has felt it necessary to identify where the bus stop is located on my street by writing B.S. with an arrow. It's not like the bus stop sign is missing. It's not even obscured by trees. And the B.S. graffiti isn't going to help the drivers identify the stops. As far as I can tell, this is the only stop marked in this way.

Maybe it IS an artistic expression.

It's a mystery.

But when I'm standing looking at B.S. pointing at me, I have to stop and consider. Do my socks match?