The pedal is fat, fat, fat, but I want the tall one. Give me fuel. I lean hard on my right butt cheek. I go hammer-down on the tall pedal.
“Please, please, let us go, just stop, let us go, please, please…”
The lady in the smooth, maroon dress with black stockings and incredibly classy shoes seems to be ready to have a breakdown. She sits just over my right shoulder in the sideways seat just behind the door.
“Please; you won’t get far. Just stop now, please, please.”
* * *
Finally, the meds had started to work, creating an awakening, eyes not seeing straight but seeing honest colors – grays, browns fuzzy with the darkening psychosis of city life, sharp lines of malignant architecture gripping my lungs, browns of trees which had been blown out by the ruthless summer drought, but with tiny sprinkles of green, dancing with the subtlety of Stravinsky and the stillness of my favorite oak trees, humiliated in frozen spaces to assure continuing life in this bleak stratosphere. My freedom and my purpose had arrived.
With my pompous boss treating me like a ten-cent clerk, the bleak meaninglessness of my job came into blasphemous clarity, with the meds finally displaying the truth of the millions of American lines drawn as my prison. I told that fucker, my boss, to take my job and shove it, which was the reserved version of the one designed by my daydreams, having imaginatively told him hundreds of times that my job belonged up his ass.
My self-pity had grown in strength, allowing me to identify with the poor baby sitting in her stroller in front of me, mostly-stranded, perhaps deserted in the building lobby.
As I stood, melting in a compressed hopelessness, I saw that boy in the horrid, knit, rainbow hat. He couldn’t carry himself. He stumbled all the way down our long city block. I thought about heroin. I thought about the terrible fate all of us are suffering at our own hands.
With a push on the door that sucked out the finality of my intentions, I exited my building, pulling the baby’s stroller rather than pushing, glancing to find stumbling hat boy, not seeing him but seeing 30, maybe 40 faces moving different directions, suffering from terrible inner despair but not sensing it, thus moving like broken robots.
I stole the bus. I’ve watched these monsters for years from my third floor office window. They have massive numbers on their tops for the pigs in the copters, but no copters today. Jinxed I was, having picked the double-zero-three.
* * *
“What will you do with her?”
Bitch won’t shut up, but I can’t let her out now, can’t shoot her now.
“Slow down, please, please, what will you do? What can you do? You can’t do this.”
I stole a baby. I need to focus on the next right step. I stole the bus because I stole the baby – stealing the bus was not a great idea. The screaming, the fried air, I just wanted the damned bus to take me and the baby to freedom. My mission runs in a smooth flow within the tornadic emotions of my riders, even the baby going full panic in sympathy to the others, with the rocket blasts in my head and icy clarity charging up through my cordovans sparked by the vibrations of the hybrid engine.
Nobody misses the stolen bus except the driver, and I’m sure dispatch thinks he’s had a fifth of whiskey rather than believing him that his bus was stolen. I want to drive the double-zero-three, hanging high in flames, diving into the big river, but I drive North instead. My captives start to look questioningly at me. Double-zero-three is a smooth ride. I like the suspension, creating a feel like a boat over tiny inundations of waves.
The lady in maroon calms as I show her my face of compassion which is after all composed from the very center of the core of a beautiful diamond in truth.
My disturbing, chemical malfunctions simmering in my brain are growing, steaming from the stress. I am far more worried about the stolen baby now and how I might continue to save her from the fate of living in a house where the meth lab blew up five years ago and melted the baby’s mother’s face, even after which she continues to this day to cook and consume with glorious ferocity, watching her face that looks more like a squid out of water made of plastic, from the fate of being beaten and smashed by a father who is always drunk, whose last date with his wife ended as they sat inside their car beside the shore of a lake that was strewn with rocks, he promising to leave her blood on every piece of rock on that “beach,” she so high on heroin that she walked home which took over four days and nearly caused death by starvation.
My mind continues with these crusted, nightmare visions and memories, and they continue to rattle my senses, seemingly, glaringly, to support my actions, stealing the baby and then, in furious stupidity, stealing the bus.
My life is over, but I’ve done at least one good thing. The short light poles with antique lanterns, in charcoal gray move by quickly and steadily, and it strikes me dead-frozen that the only people who really get to enjoy these poles are all of the suicides who jump into the dirty Missouri River. The water under the sharp white bridge with the beautiful, short, gray light poles was always calm, even when someone dove in, and suicides don’t enter smoothly.