I make a habit of getting on the first bus that heads downtown in the morning. I’m not naturally a morning person, but I like being able to start my day in the office with nobody to interrupt me or keep me from getting things done. The bus also tends to be emptier with several unoccupied seats. A few months ago, this guy got on the bus and as he sat down next to me he turned to face me and loudly proclaimed in an almost exaggerated tone, “HI!” When I’m on the bus, reading a book or messing with my phone, I never get interrupted so this took me by surprise. I said hi back and he proceeded to ask me questions like “So, do you live nearby? Where do you work…?” This went on until he got off at his stop 15 minutes later. When I got off at my stop, someone remarked “looks like you made a friend.”
Next day, the crazy guy was back. Just as before, he sat very close to me, stared, and attempted to make conversation. I tried to keep it a little less friendly. I don’t want to be rude but when it’s 5:30 in the friggin morning, I’m still a bit groggy and cranky and the last thing I need is some weird guy who now thinks I’m his best friend.
Day number 3 and someone else sat next to me one stop before he got on. When the crazy guy saw that someone else was sitting next to me, he looked confused, then sat in the seat in front of me, turned around and said “HI!” Crap. So I don’t particularly enjoy his company and this is beginning to get annoying. He doesn’t even have anything intelligent to say.
Over the next few days, I tried to come up with ways to avoid the crazy guy. I have waited 30 minutes for the next bus to come to miss him — that works of course. I tried some experiments to see how he would react. I sat in the seat across the aisle from my usual seat, just in case I have just been sitting in his favorite seat. Nope. I tried moving back a couple of seats. He moved back too. Then one day I sat in the very back of the bus. I found a loophole. He doesn’t look that far back.
For weeks I agonized each morning, trying to decide if I wanted to face the crazy guy or not. Should I get on a different bus? Sit in the back? Just sit through the 15 minutes with the crazy guy? Then I decided to see how he would react if I was sleeping. I put my bag in the seat next to mine, put headphones on, and pretended to be asleep. When the crazy guy got on the bus, he stood next to my seat confused. Then he started touching my bag. He actually stood for 3 or 4 minutes on a mostly empty bus trying to move my bag or decide how he could sit next to me. Then he sat across from me. With my eyes barely open, I could see the pathetic scene as it unfolded. Now you know why I refer to him as the crazy guy.
Ok, so pretending to sleep every day is a little silly, especially when I’d rather be on my computer, reading a book, or playing a cell phone game than try and fool a crazy guy. That can get quite exhausting. Several more times, I have gotten on MY bus, sat in MY seat, and put my headphones on. The crazy guy still sits next to me (WAY too eagerly). We haven’t spoken in weeks but I still call him crazy guy. I started writing this post during the 15 minutes he was next to me one day this past week. Am I crazy or is this guy just weird?