Yesterday was Black Friday, a day notorious for being a retail hell, with people going crazy over sales. The shops weren’t the only place that crazy was breaking through to the surface though. After a long day at work, I was on my way home. I had just gotten back downtown and was waiting at a bus stop to transfer onto a cross-town bus for the last part of my trip. When the bus pulled up, a few people got off and then a woman went up the steps and started dropping change into the fare box, so I followed behind her, ready to dip my card into the machine. When the woman ahead of me finished, I dipped my card and paid my fare and right as I did, a woman with a cane pushed past the first lady boarding the bus and started shouting, “Getting off the bus! Getting off the bus!”
I stepped back as far as I could to give her room to get by. Now, I assume this woman was nuts, because instead of stepping past and going down the stairs, she spread her arms out and pushed up against me, then hit me with her cane repeatedly, all the while shouting, “Getting off the bus! Getting off the bus!” She didn’t continue on. She just stood there looking at me, whacking my legs with her cane.
Not being in the mood to be slowly bludgeoned to death by an old woman with a cane, I pushed her away from me and said, “Get off the fucking bus then.” She started yelling at me and hit me in the arm with her cane.
Right away, the bus driver said, “Hey, why you messin’ with dat old woman?”
My first thought was, ‘Are you fucking serious?’ and I said to him, “Because the bitch hit me with her cane.”
The driver replied, “She’s trying to get off the bus.”
I told him, “That doesn’t give her an excuse to start hitting me with her cane.”
The driver said, “Well, you should have let her get off the bus before you came up.”
So I said, “I was already up here and paid. I backed up and gave her plenty of space. She had plenty of room to get down.”
He said, “Well, you could have gotten back down and waited for her to get off.”
At this point, I’d reached the end of my patience, with the driver being a moron and the woman still yelling at my back so I said, “Fuck no. She had enough room. She can go fuck herself and so can you.”
Then I walked back into the bus to find a seat. As I was walking away, the woman yelled at me, “You asshole!”
So, I looked back over my shoulder and said, “Ya, fuck you!” Then I sat down and waited.
It took quite a while for other people to start coming on the bus. I guess the old woman was making a big show up there. The buses are double length, with a swivel section in the middle, so I don’t know what, if anything, more was said. Maybe she was being extra slow getting off the bus as her final act of retaliation for not putting up with her craziness.
The next guy to get on the bus came and sat down across the aisle from me and said, “Hey yo, I saw that whole shit go down. That bitch was crazy. Fuck that driver. He made an issue out of that shit because of the color of your complexion and that old lady’s complexion, tryin’ to make that shit all racial. That woman had no business hitting you with her cane. I saw it all man.”
Then a lady sat in front of me and said that the old woman is lucky she did that to someone with an even temper, because if I had been a “bad” person, I might have done something nasty to her. She said the woman must have a problem with her head.
It’s true. You never know what kind of person you’re talking to or what they’re capable of, especially in New York City, where crazy people are so common. I’m not going to beat up someone that’s obviously mentally imbalanced, but I’m not going to stand there and let them assault me and then just smile about it either.
To clarify what the guy that sat across from me was saying, the driver was black and so was the woman with the cane. I don’t know if it was a racial issue, but it seems odd to me that the driver just automatically assumed I was at fault. He didn’t seem to have a problem with the first woman who got on the bus, who was also black and in the old woman’s way. It was just me.
So, I guess you could say this was a double dose of crazy, crazy crazy and crazy racism crazy. Like I said to the guy that pointed it out to me, though, this is just another day in New York City.