CROSSTOWN 88           

 

 

                                                                           On a city crosstown bus.     

       

 

YOUNG MAN

You know you don’t look like the bus type.

 

WOMAN

What’s the ‘bus type’ look like?

 

YOUNG MAN

Well...not you!  

 

WOMAN

Thank you?

 

                                                                          YOUNG MAN observes her.

                                                           

WOMAN

Please stop staring.

 

YOUNG MAN

You... have a job, don’t you? Like a real job.

 

WOMAN

Yes, I have a job.

 

YOUNG MAN

I knew it! I can always tell! Yeah, you definitely got that “I got-a-job-mother-fucker” thing on you!

...So what do you do?

 

                                                                        WOMAN tries to ignore him. Pretends to                                                                                        look out the window.

 

YOUNG MAN

Okay then, I’m gonna adivinate...you tell when I get it.

 

WOMAN.

Guess away.

 

YOUNG MAN

A’ight. A’ight. Let’s see...you are a ...school teacher!

 

WOMAN

A school teacher?  Really?  Coming home this late?

 

YOUNG MAN

No one said you was coming from work.

 

WOMAN

Okay, I’ll give you that. But no, you’re wrong. I’m not a teacher.

 

YOUNG MAN

Okay, homes, I’ma Sherlock it up.

Let’s see, you don’t got crazy long-ass nails so you prolly work with your hands, then again they aren’t all tore up like you do real work… Even though you do have that nice olivey type complexion, it doesn’t look like you’re outside much... you work inside!(you should check your vitamin D levels)...You don’t wear a lot of makeup so it’s not like you gotta glam it up for no tips or nothing, (he moves in close and sniffs) but you do smell... clean-- like you gotta get close to people…

 

WOMAN

Okay…

 

YOUNG MAN

No, no, don’t tell me-- those shoes, those your work shoes?

 

WOMAN

Maybe.

 

YOUNG MAN

Ima say they are, at least I hope they are, ‘cuz they is way too sensible for a young lady like you to be wearing unless they’re for work...which means, you’re on your feet! You work on your feet...you’re a...nurse!

 

WOMAN

Pretty good.

 

YOUNG MAN

You’re a nurse, for reals??

 

WOMAN

Close.  I’m a PT.

 

YOUNG MAN

I’m still right, even if you are part-time

 

WOMAN

No, not ‘part time’, I’m a PT, a physical therapist.

 

YOUNG MAN

...What’s that?

 

WOMAN

I help people with physical rehabilitation, sometimes after an injury, sometimes to get stronger after or before a surgery...

 

YOUNG MAN

I knew it! I knew you were some kinda nursey type!

 

WOMAN

Actually...right, you’re right, it’s all part of the medical profession.

 

YOUNG MAN

Uh-hmmm. So, do you get to see people get naked?

 

WOMAN

No, we work fully clothed. Comfortable clothes.

 

YOUNG MAN

Well, do you get any fringe benefits?

 

WOMAN

Well, I get a salary and vacation days. Other than that it’s a pretty regular job. How’d you break your collarbone?

 

YOUNG MAN

What?

 

WOMAN

You’re not the only ‘Sherlock’ on this bus. Your collarbone-- looks like you broke it a while back. PT wouldn’t of helped but it clearly wasn’t set right, otherwise, it’d be symmetrical and you wouldn’t favor your right side even though you’re left-handed.

 

YOUNG MAN

How do you know that? Do I know you?

 

WOMAN

Yes, you know me, for all of ten minutes. That’s part of my job. I can’t help it. “I see dead...injuries.” How’d you break it? Sports? Bike wreck?

 

YOUNG MAN

I fell. I don’t wannna talk about…okay, I was saving this cat, this little baby kitten.… You could say I was like a hero. Yeah this baby cat-- got stuck on my neighbor’s roof. I had to climb up there, up the side of the house, like spiderman.  Like, five stories up, then soon as I get up there the little cat starts running straight to the ledge.  Damn thing’s suicidal! But I know that cat’s got more life left, like 8 more, right?  Anyhows I run to catch that little bundle of fur before he can reach the ledge. Whaaaaa! (he makes some kind of ninja sound) I leap after it, right in mid-air I catch the little cat and manage to place it on the next roof over, that’s when I hit my collarbone.  I dangled for a minute then managed to pull myself up over that ledge. Wasn’t no thing, someone had to save him…he was just a little kitten.

 

                                                         

                                                          YOUNG MAN grows quiet.

                                                          They ride in silence.    

                                                         

 

 
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