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March 8, 9:10am
Fayette Mall to UK
I get on the bus as usual and head to the back as usual. I pull out my notebook. The guy two rows ahead of me is just getting off his mobile. I  think that he looks rather down-and-out to have a mobile phone but then I feel guilty for being judgmental and, hey, doesn’t everyone have one these days?

A minute into the ride, he turns around and asks me if I want a sour lime-coconut candy. I decline and show him I have the exact same kind in my backpack and tell him that nobody else I know likes them with a smile. “Good taste, we have good taste!” he exclaims showing a few missing teeth. I then decide he’s probably lonely or not “all there” or both. It’s definitely against bus etiquette to turn around and talk to someone.
He continues to look at me for a minute as if deciding how to proceed next. Then he gathers up his stuff and moves back into my row on the other side of the aisle. I’m sitting on the aisle seat in my row so thankfully he couldn’t sit right next to me.

“You seem like a nice person and I’m a good person, too. I’m not crazy,” he puts it out there. I smile. I would be uneasy but I know I’m safe on the bus. He continues, “It’s just that that phone call was from my best friend and his dad died and I didn’t even know what to say and he wants me to come to Bowling Green and he’s going to send me bus money.” OK, I think, how do I extract myself from this. “What do you want to say to him,” I throw the mess non-committally back in his lap but say it in a kind voice.

He takes his jacket off. He’s wearing a shirt much too large for him, it makes his wasted frame appear even more skeletal. He has a close-cropped beard and a scar running the length of a sunken cheek. There are probably more missing teeth on that side of his mouth. “I tole him I’m real sad,” he tells me and again says, “I’m not crazy, you must think I’m crazy.” You bet, buddy, I think. However, I say: “I think you’re upset.”

I then get a story of how the friend’s dad’s new girlfriend is making off with all the stuff in the house and the friend wants him to come down there for moral support. Thankfully, as he’s ending this story, we pull up to UK. I was planning on riding the bus all the way to the transit center, but given the circumstances, I say this is my stop (true to a point) and tell him that I hope it works out and that I would say a little prayer for him. “You are an angel,” he says and it occurs to me suddenly that he thinks I am an angel. Whoa! I assure him I’m not, say “bye” and jump off the bus.

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