It was pretty hot here today. And the summer heat means that the buses are just miserable. I got out of the hospital a bit later than usual and found a crowd waiting at the bus stop. I know from experience that this points to a packed, steamy, miserable ride home. There were no buses in sight, so I walked a block back to the previous stop on the route. Soon enough the bus pulled up and I got one of the few remaining seats in the very stuffy back of the bus.
The back of the bus always has a distinctive odor. It's usually a mixture of body odor, cheap cologne, and stale cigarette smoke. Today was no exception, and there was even a strong alcohol smell overshadowing the usual suspects. I pulled out my book and tried to focus on reading while I wondered who on the vicinity smelled like they just fell out of a bar.
Within a couple of stops the bus was packed. A rather scruffy looking guy managed to elbow his way to the back through the crowd and someone got up and offered him a seat. The new arrival looked to be a bit mentally unstable as he sat down, muttered to himself, and started to dig through a big dirty backpack. Everyone around him went back to their respective activities... sort of.
Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye I noticed the guy pulling something really shiny out of the backpack. I discretely glanced over and noted that he had pulled two large daggers out of the bag. That's right--daggers. These were real daggers, like mini-swords. They looked like they could cause extreme bodily harm. It seemed like everyone noticed the daggers at the same time. A tense feeling of silence fell over the back of the bus. Everyone looked away. What do you do in a situation like this? We all seemed to opt for remaining very quiet and sat still, trying not to look, while the guy played with the daggers. He rubbed them together, banged them around, ran the dull surfaces across his needle-tracked arms, and muttered the whole time.
After a few minutes of this I decided that I wanted off the bus at the next stop. Who knew what this guy could do. I figured I could easily make it out since I was between him and the door. All of a sudden, he jumped up and started down the aisle with his daggers. Everyone froze... and then he quietly exited the bus, daggers and all...
We all exhaled and resumed reading/listening to music/texting/etc. It was quite a day in the summer heat.