We all have things we dislike, but are necessary. For example taking out the garbage or embezzling funds from work. All of it seemingly unavoidable.
My pet peeve for the day is buses.
And what a peeve it turned out to be yesterday.
Make that Peeve.
The scene : Yesterday around 7:15pm at Boralle, A bottle of apple soda and I had just merged. The shadows have long since stopped growing longer, they’ve more or less stretched themselves across everything. The light from shops and street lamps crawls across the floor and stays stationary, like a dead rat, waiting for the sun to come release it from the trap of night and-
There I was in front of an eating establishment of dubious hygiene standards(like any self respecting young male), walking towards the bus stop. I wonder about the dark shapes of the buses behind their bright headlights. I wonder about why my prose is so shitty. I wonder about why there’s a dude walking towards me with a deranged look in his eyes.
The man wobbled, straightened his course and kept coming towards me. Why me? There were at least a dozen people there and the fool comes at me. Cursing Sri Lankans’ ability to get stoned drunk at the crack of dusk, I deploy evasive maneuvers.
I pretend to use my phone and walk more or less in the same direction.
When I nearly bump into him I am already cursing and wondering why my brilliant tactics did not work. Maybe next time I should try Snake III.
He asks me, in that meticulously careful manner of speaking that comes out sounding as if you have mothballs in your mouth, “bash enawane malli?”(Is there a bus coming?). I reply with a curt nod and a mouth movement that looked affirmative. He looks at me like I was carrying a mule over my shoulders and asks again “mokaaa? sure da? Raa wela nadda thaama?”(You sure? It isn’t too late yet?). My mind goes into overdrive. How to best cut this conversation short and just move off? Do I explain all to him? Should I just ignore him? These weighty matters wrestled each other in the depths of my mind as the man continued to further make the surrounding air smell of cheap liquor. The matters were still only in the third round and the referee refused to give me a winner immediately so I just decided on a simple “ow ow” and walked off. Well, walked ten meters away, since I wanted to stay in the bus stop. He wandered off somewhere and I went back to The Flying Carpet(music -_- ).
There are many things in life that are regarded tragic, horrendous or Gehanlike. War, people dying, nuclear winters, living in Kandy, and sitting next to a drunk on the bus. You know, the usual.
I stand there for about two minutes, contemplating mace when the bus comes. I get in, pick the third seat forward from the back door on the left, and sit. Pull out “Look to windward” by Iain Banks. Start reading.
Mr. aalocohol-ish-my-frand was sitting in the seat behind me. And by Mr. Aalocohol I don’t mean the gutterflower. So he sits behind me and starts discussing the mysteries of bus travel with… himself. He’d almost reached agreement with himself that buses do in fact travel on wheels full of air when suddenly the conductor burst into the scene wielding a minigun and an AA membership form, yelling “Kauda yako beela inne?!”(Who’s drunk in here yo?!). Well not really, but it’s much more exciting that way. Apparently some passenger had complained about the dude and the conductor was trying to convince the drunk that he was due to get off at the next stop.
The conductor threw the usual “Issaraha halt eken baha ganne”(You’re due to get off at the next stop.. The drunk replies with “ko meee… thaama hari thana nemei ne”(I don’t think so, biatch!). To which the conductor articulates “hari halt eka thamai oi baha ganin ko”(Oh no you di’nt!!!).
After a few seconds of such intense debate, the dude finally got off the bus, leaving only the rank smell of alcohol breathed out through a windpipe coated with the illicit liquors of a society that indulges in-