Foreword: Feel free to skip this part, or read it after. This story is a bit of an odd duck, doesn’t quite feel like a whole story to me. It feels like it needs context. Sure, it’s only one scene, but I’ve got even shorter stories that feel like they’re complete, resolved. Thing is, how do you create context for what is essentially an act of emotional tourism? What would his personal life matter, if this just live entertainment for him? Maybe that guy really had an arc earlier or later in his life, but I struggle to see how this could be a part of it. It isn’t important enough for him.
OK, so I’m sitting by this guy on the bus right? He goes:
“There ain’t nothing in this world more important than yourself.”
This wasn’t the first time somebody sitting by me decided to start up a lecture, with me as the sole audience. I feel like you can’t call yourself a bus rider until you’ve had someone give you an uncalled-for diatribe. Sometimes the “lesson” is so poorly given and ineffectual that it’s fun to listen to, I mean, that’s the sadist in me speaking, but the sadist in me at least knows how to have a good time.
Anyway, like all diatribes, this one was obviously meant more for himself than it was for me. I could be a mannequin, and the guy’d get the same sort of ego-boosting-satisfaction. Or extreme regret, I had no idea, these people would always leave my life within the hour. People with their minds all chewed up with thoughts so powerful that they have to talk to total strangers gives away at least some degree of desperation, so I always listened politely. I’d hope for the same if I was in their mental state.
“Seriously, nothing at all.”
I tilted my head slightly, feigning a look of honest reflection.