In mid-January, it’s the Thursday afternoon matinee of the play War Horse I need to get to at Proctors Theatre in Schenectady. I hop on the 905, that limited-stop red Bus Plus, at Washington and Lark in Albany at 11:39 a.m., right on time, and it should get me around Nott Terrace at 12:24, more than an hour before the play.
It would have except for that young woman. I had a difficult time gauging her age, though in the 18 to 25 range was most likely. She was sitting in the first set of seats. Well, sitting might have been overstating it, for she was slouching lower and lower, and I thought her head would hit the ground. As it was, she knocked over a large cup of milk from Stewart’s that spread back three rows of seats.
I moved across from her and she woke up to say she was fine. But this conversation must have triggered, for he stopped the bus a short time later (at the WAMC stop).
Driver: I didn’t let you on to throw your drink all over the floor.
Young Woman: I didn’t THROW it, it spilled.
D: And you’ve done this before.
YW: So why did you let me on the bus?
It went on like that, with a couple of passengers pleading with the driver to get going before he ordered her to sit further back on the bus. He probably figured she’d rest in some window seat. Instead, she sat on an aisle seat, on the left side, and started leaned so far to her right, I thought she’d surely fall over. Instead, she’d regained awareness.
Some guy who was sitting in front of her was going to take her picture, I suspect to verify her condition. She was aware enough of him, though, to suggest that if he did take her picture, she would report him as a “sex pervert.”
She’d nod off, leaning, and dropped her phone or another device twice onto the floor. Then she’d be lucid enough to engage in pleasant banter with the folks in the back of the bus. Then she’d zone out and dropped her wallet twice, the second time, with her cards falling out. She bent over and was fodder for much laughter. I don’t know if she realized they were laughing AT her rather than WITH her.
At some point, a guy got off the bus, but before he left, leaned over her slumped body, then left. A minute or two later, she says she had been robbed. She may well have, but I was too far up front to tell for sure.
The driver stopped the bus across from the McDonald’s on State Street in Schenectady, calls his dispatcher, and we wait, much to the furor of more than a few riders. Then she says that she WASN’T robbed, at which point I swear there were those who seemed ready to do the young woman bodily harm. Several riders plead with the driver to go. She leaves the bus and goes to the Mickey D’s, with the riders more impatient by the minute. Then she comes back because she had left a large bag by her original seat on the bus.
By this point, the police fortunately arrive, we’re allowed to go, and I’m only 15 minutes late.
Was the young woman on drugs, prescription or otherwise? Did she have narcolepsy? I don’t know. Nor do I know whether a guy who said he was going to post a video of her on Facebook actually did, but he, who was sitting behind her, did record her for several minutes.
Talk about a long, strange trip…