Vinnie walked the street to the bus stop. He reached for his lighter and thumbed the flint in his pocket. The street was empty and the halogen lights came on. He stood still for a moment and then paced about, hands in pocket.
The bus came, he got on and took a seat by the window and spread his legs as wide as possible. The city peeled back and became more dense. The yellow glow reflected off the windows and inside.
The bus came to a stop and an old man boarded. He fumbled for change for a few seconds before the driver waved him on.
Thank you, the old man said. The new passenger walked up the aisle and stopped at Vinnie’s seat.
Don’t you fucking dare, Vinnie said to the window shaking his head through tightened mouth and gritted teeth. Don’t you fucking dare.
Excuse me young man, said the old man.
I ain’t young no more, said Vinnie. A slow turn of the head. Eyes locked into one another.
Well, younger than me, would you mind? said the old man.
Would I mind what, what if I do mind, you know what I do.
No need to be,
You know what, just fuck off, said Vinnie.
Hey, said a voice from somewhere behind Vinnie. Vinnie turned. Don’t be such a fucking nasty piece of shit, said a middle aged man. Vinnie turned back to the old man standing.
Looks like you got somewhere to sit then, said Vinnie. The old man looked to the middle aged man.
Thank you sir, said the old man.
Wait, said the middle aged one. I don’t want you sitting beside me. Sit somewhere else.
Vinnie turned back to the middle aged man.
Right, so you’re not the fucking saint you want to be, said Vinnie.
All the other passengers on the bus had their heads down during the exchange. There were single seats but no one spoke to volunteer.
Just let him sit down beside you, said the middle aged man.
How about fuck you.
My feet are so sore.
What the hell is going on back there? said the bus driver.
Vinnie stood up.
You know what old man, take the fucking seat, I don’t care, I’ll stand, said Vinnie.
You can sit with me, said the old man.
I don’t wanna, said Vinnie. Are you fucking pissing right now? The old man took the seat. Jesus Christ, said Vinnie. He dinged the bell and stood at the front of the bus staring at the road ahead.
What happened back there? the bus driver asked quiet.
The bus came to a stop and Vinnie got off.
Vinnie walked a couple of blocks in the rain with his jacket pulled up exposing his belly to the elements. Some street lights had gone out and Vinnie stepped on some broken glass. Vinnie walked a few feet before leaning against a parked car to remove the shards. He knicked his hand removing the pieces.
The rain had eased into a mild misting by the time he arrived at a house with a flickering porch light. He stood on the stoop turning the handle but the door did not budge. Vinnie banged the door several times.
An older man appeared at the door. He had trousers on but had suspenders that arched over his bare shoulders. He wore glasses too.
You gonna let me in? Vinnie said.
You huh, said the older man.
Open up, Vinnie said. You sleeping again, this time? You won’t sleep.
I’m not being worried by that you know, said the old man.
The TV blared in the background.
Darrin dear there’s no need to be a snit, mother just didn’t understand what she was doing, said the TV
How many times you gonna watch I dream of Jeannie?
It’s bewitched, said the older man
OK, said Vinnie, You going to let me in and we can watch it together?
You know, I’ve been thinking, said the older man. You can’t stay here anymore.
What? said Vinnie. You serious? Come on pa, come on let me in will you for crying out loud.
No, I’ve been thinking and the it’s best if you find your own place. I mean look at you you’re what age, thirty, you can’t keep relying on me. I’m your old man, I should be relying on you.
You been thinking, you fucking kidding me? You thinking, you funnier than that show, fucking thinking. It’s that bitch isn’t it, I fucking new there was something fishy bout her and I’m not talking about,
You watch you’re goddamn mouth, said Vinnie’s father.
Or you what?
Vinnie stood under the flickering light.
Just what I thought, said Vinnie. Can you least lemme in so I can get my stuff.
Son, you don’t have any stuff. What have you got? A box o cereal, some socks, underwear. I’ll make sure it gets sent to you.
You doing this to me dad, now?
Thing is I got no choice.
You do, you do, dad, you don’t have to do this to me. I’ve had a rough time of it.
All because of choices you made, you don’t think you should face consequences?
I just, dad, please, I don’t got no where else to go.
That’s no longer my concern. Look if you ever make something of yourself, let me know. But right now, I can’t. You’ll understand.
Vinnie’s father closed the door on him and bolted it shut. The TV’s volume increased further. Vinnie stood for a moment, raised a fist in parallel with the door then unclenched his hand and dropped his arm to the side. He left the porch and Vinnie walked back towards the bus stop.
The bus navigated the streets and Vinnie knocked his head against the window.
The bus came to a stop and Vinnie got off.
Did you like that?
If you did would you mind signing up to my email because you’re a legend.
Also if you like my writing click the link below.
Thank you and have a great day,