by Ryder W. Miller
Harriet did not know why she
said those things. She just had to. It was beyond her control. When walking past a couple or a group of people the words would
just come out. It wasn't exactly Tourettes. It was not zany. Instead it came from the darkness of her depths.
She had once been a wife and
mother, but now her family was dead and she was all alone. Crime had taken them. The assailant left no witnesses. She returned
home one day to find her husband and daughter killed in her apartment. She had went crazy and never really recovered. At times
she would be talking with them even though they were not there. She had things to say. That was what being cut off was like.
The people were not there to hear the message. She had to say what she did even though it would only be heard by herself.
Wandering the streets this
afternoon she was. It was a warm and pleasant, and she was alone. She no longer really stood up strait. She leaned down into
her steps and was hunched over. It was not clear to her where she was or where she was going. She looked up and realized she
was at Union Square. This was a place where many tourists stopped for a drink in between their shopping. On sunny days there
would be many people sitting around. There were also performances, some dancing, others just musical.
She was not paying attention
to the performers now and there was a couple who was annoying her.
They sat there shivering in
the sun. Evidently they were from elsewhere and did not dress warm enough for the cool winds of summer. His top buttons were
open and she wore a dress. They were enjoying themselves as they drank their drinks. It was not coffee, instead soda and juice
with ice. Maybe they were from the north and ready for the cold, but it did not seem like it.
"Why don't we go back to the
hotel where it is warm?" the man asked.
The lady with him smiled.
"You can ask me such a question
in this city."
Harriet was now annoyed. No
man had asked her such a question in her whole life. She looked at them with a sneer.
The woman at the table looked
over to her and handed her a coin.
"I don't want it you stinking
Harriet began to smile and
"I am not homeless. I am just
The lady was offended and
her company grew annoyed. The man motioned to stand up, but stopped.
"Sorry to have bothered you.
Can you please leave us alone."
Harriet walked away angry
again. Again she said "You stinking harlot."
She could not help it. She
had to say what she had to say. She often did not know what she was going to say until after she said it. The guards would
usually chase her away from the square. She did not fit in. She was too old and downscale.
She sure gave them a good
one. Who did they think they were coming to her town to do it?
Where she was going next she
did not know. It did not hurt her to walk if she did not go far. She was not able to buy the good shoes like she wanted. She
felt embarrassed to wear sneakers. Plod along she would. It allowed her to think and be free, but every now and then the spirit
would come over her. She had become a medium for some force she did not know.
She decided to take the bus.
If they were running on time they usually would be empty. Today however the bus was late. The electronic sign kept pushing
the time of arrival back. First it said five minutes. Then is said ten. Then it was back to seven. It really bothered her
when she had to wait and they would run both busses together at the same time. Sometimes the homeless would camp out at a
bus station. If you did not wait there too long they would not bother you. It did become hard on her feet to keep waiting.
She would often choose to do this rather than sit next to some of the people who had gotten there first.
Today there was an young man
sitting there with her radio. She did not like the music and tried to be live and let live, but that did not seem to be working
for her. It wasn't quite rap music, but it was very confrontational. She did not recognize the musician.
"What the hell kind of shit
is that?" Harriet said.
The man just looked at her
strange. First he was annoyed and then he smiled.
"I don't want to listen to
"What is going down with you
lady?" the man said.
"If I have to listen I get
to pick the radio station."
"But it is my radio?"
"I am the queen," said Harriet
"You have to go buy you own
The bus was now arriving and
she just decided to end it with a dirty look.
"You better not get on the
"This is not my bus. I am
waiting for another one."
"Lucky you," she said while
waiting for the others to get off the bus.
It was not like this in Dankerville
Harriet thought. There people were ready for confrontations. There were not as many buses, but all sorts could get on. She
sometimes looked forward to the drama.
After she rushed a few people
off the bus by her posturing at the entrance she looked back at the guy at the bus station and said "Good bye and have a nice
The smile left his face and
he was re-leaved when the bus had left.
"Go fuck yourself," she said
to herself and him after she was gone.
Harriet did not find an empty
seat in front when she got on the bus. Usually these seats were reserved for the old and disabled. She was determined to get
a seat even if she had to say something to somebody. The bus was a little too crowded for her likes. During certain hours
that was to be expected. She liked public transit better when she could get a seat. One also needed to be careful and hold
on or they could loose their balance.
There were a few young girls
sitting in the front, ie. in the chairs that were parallel with the way the bus was going. Harriet could not help but comment
about their breasts. They were moderate but ample.
"I am not afraid of your breasts,"
The women on the bus who were
laughing looked up in surprise.
"What did you say?" one asked
"Why don't you cover your
breasts?" she asked.
"I am sorry lady, but you
"Get up and give me the seat."
"Mind your manners."
"If you don't give up the
seat I will call the cops."
"Why don't you wear a fucking
The girls decided to get up
and give her the seat.
"We think you are crazy lady."
"I don't want to have to look
"They are not on display for
They went to the back and
Harriet took a seat and looked around for new victims. She did not know where she was going but it was a nice afternoon to
be out. She would figure it out along the way.
She had this bus ride to contend
with in the meantime though. On the bus she saw a long haired man reading a book. It was a surprise to herself that she did
not feel like a bitching him. He was minding his own self and just sitting their. She did not find him attractive, but she
also did not want to bother him. Usually someone would sit next to such a person and get up from their seat to be away from
them. She once had a brother that they did that to often.
He was annoyed about it but
neither of them really understood it. Maybe he smelled or something.
After a few stops the person
sitting next to the man got up from her seat and moved to the front.
Harriet lost control.
"Who the hell do you think
The woman who was being addressed
was not paying attention. She did not realize she was being talked to.
"Who the hell do you think
you are?" Harriet said to her directly.
The lady was surprised.
"Who the hell do you think
you are?" Harriet said to her again.
"Can you leave me alone,"
she said kind of scared.
"You make me want to spit
on the floor."
"You wouldn't be the first
one to do it."
"What did he do to bother
"That is my business."
"We had to watch this. We
were all party to this."
"He should not be reading.
He has three strikes against him. Tall, male and curious."
"I like to read also."
"Well for you that is only
"He was doing nothing to you,
"Reading is not allowed!"
"Get off the bus," Harriet
"This next stop is mine anyway."
"Get off the bus you ignoramus."
"Hold on or I will call the
"I am law enforcement."
The man reading looked up
at what was going on but did not say anything.
"Go find a book fast," said
Harriet to the lady getting off the bus.
"Why you are crazy."
"Get off the bus you ignoramus."
The lady got off at the next
stop. A few people clapped.
"Thank you," said the man
who was reading.
"I don't want to talk with
you either. I just want to read. You are welcome."
Harriet sat down to read in
the back. She pulled out a book of poetry, but she was too distracted to read it.
It wasn't long until she was
at her stop. She got up to go and the man who was reading first gave her a smile.
"I hate when people create
a scene on the bus."
"So do I. Goodbye," said Harriet
as she stepped to the door.
The person by the door well
did not see that she was leaving.
"Excuse me," she said with
a scowl and the person moved out of her way.
She stepped out in the spring
weather, but it was actually winter.
Standing to get in the back
door was a man wearing shorts. Harriet watched him get into the bus. It was too late to say it to him, but she now had something
on her mind.
"Who the hell does he think
he is. It ain't supposed to be winter. Hell when summer comes along this year people are going to be dying of heat exhaustion
all over the world. Step into a restuarant and you are not getting a big drink like you need it. Hell half the food I eat
makes me gag. Hot the world is getting and nobody any longer wants my hot ass. I am crazy, but the world is crazy. It is heating
up. Even the polar bears are noticing the heat. The poles are melting. The ocean is rising. Out there in those islands in
the Pacific, the water is rising. Islands will be disappearing. Whole nations disolving. Out here the planes will not be able
to land. The whole world is going to shit and everybody is out here enjoying the weather."
Harriet decided to go grab
something to eat. She only had five dollars in her pocket. She would get a piece of pizza. She walked to the corner where
there was a pizza shop.
The middle age man at the
counter looked at her with trepidation and concern.
"Can I help you?"
"You sure can."
"What would you like?"
"A husband. That is what I
"I am sorry mamm, but that
is not on the menu."
"You wouldn't happen to need
some extra money on the side would you?"
"Thanks for asking. We are
only serving pizza today."
"Would you like a slice of
cheese pizza, or pepperoni or are you a vegetarian?"
The man was losing his patience
and wanted to see her go.
"Would you like for me wrap
it up in a bag?"
"Why are you being an asshole?"
"I am just doing my job mamm.
Look here," said the man when he showed her a ring on his wedding finger.
"Oh I want to marry you now
huh. You think just because you can cook that you are sexy."
"Honey you are going to far.
I don't have to take this at work."
"Well do your job and heat
up a slice for me."
"This pepperoni slice is just
out the oven. Do you want it?"
"Sure. I will take it to go
"You can call be fatty, but
it better not get around."
"Ok. You called me honey first."
"Here is your pizza. Good
"Yeah. Thank you."
"That's right. Thank me and
lose some weight. I will be looking at you."
"Have a nice day mamm."
Harriet decided to eat the
pizza as she walked away. She did not mind if a few drops of pepperoni fell on her clothes. Less grease in her stomach she
She found a seat at a park
and decided to eat the rest of the slice there.
A few men walked by the bench,
but she beat them to it.
"Okay," one said.
There was another bench that
was open that they walked to.
Harriet figured they probably
were gay and were not interested in her ass. That is what she figured about most men who were not interested in her.
What she sat on was special
even if there was a lot of it. Some men in her past had lost interest when it got big, but some felt there was more to love
about it. That at least was what she tried to stress to them. For them she was not as likely to say that they needed to keep
it in their pants. Those two guys she took the seat from probably would need to keep it in their pants. They were too far
away now for her to yell it at them. Even though they wanted to get married now some of them still needed to keep it in their
She got up to walk over to
them to say it, but she decided to just sit down and yell it. She did not care if they could not hear her. She just wanted
to yell it so she did.
She lost interest after a
while and decided to eat the remaining crust of the pizza. She needed to keep her pants on they needed to keep it in their
It was a wonder why anyone
was able to reproduce.
This was the park and now
she could say you are not allowed to go because there are children here. They would say that about her as well. Well, she
had done well once, but now it was over. Fiends were need in a crazy world. She worried about a day when everybody would have
© Ryder W. Miller 2012
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