Stacy and I took the bus a couple of weeks ago and headed to Damen Ave. and Chicago Ave. to meet up with some friends. We sat in front of an old man riding the bus with no destination, as far as I could tell. When he laughed (and he laughed often at what he was saying), his voice would cackle like a wicked witch. He didn’t have a broom, but a few six packs of beer in plastic grocery bags placed on the floor and next to him on the seat. No one sat by him. He looked a little crazy with his shaggy gray hair and beard, but he was probably just lost in a beer haze. I was wary of him and really didn’t want to sit in front of him but there were no other spots on the bus. What if he, god forbid, tried to talk to us? What if he hurled a beer can at us? What if he urinated or barfed on the floor? Or threw insults at us like the lady in the park one day years ago? (She walked past Stacy and I and said, “You think you look pretty, don’t you? You slut, you whore!” She pointed and spat those words at us and I thought, oh my god, she can totally read my mind. But then she said it to the next people, also.)

Turned out he was harmless. I hadn’t been paying attention to him, but Stacy later told me that he had been saying random things like, “I used to be good-looking, you should’ve seen me”. I tuned out his babbling until he blurted out,”how now brown cow!” Stacy and I peaked at each other and started giggling, trying to be quiet, not to draw attention, our shoulders bouncing up and down. Either he really cracked himself up or he saw us giggling and so he started to laugh, cackling loud and then said it again. “How now brown cow!”