[new post]

I’m exhausted today. It’s just been a tiring day. Our car is broke down and John can’t ride the motorcycle ride now due to a broken jaw, so it’s the bus for us. Buses make me so tense and nervous. I’m not really sure what it is; the fact that a complete stranger is driving? The fact that I don’t know the routes, so I’m essentially lost for most the ride? The movement of the bus; the stops and starts? The mechanical noises of the bus; the whoosh of the engine and the squeal of the brakes?
Or is it as simple as the people on the bus, like the odd fellow who sat across from us and kept holding his phone up at us so we could see the video playing on his screen (not a video I wanted to see, fyi). Or the guy who twitched and tapped and whistled the entire ride; his arrhythmic tapping making me so tense I had a migraine by the end.
On the bus, I generally try to avoid eye contact. I don’t like getting into conversations with strangers. Once I got in a conversation with a strange woman, and a few weeks later she accused me of being fat white trash. It was weird. She bragged about how she collects trash from the dump, decorates her walls and house with it, and calls it “antique.” Apparently, though, she doesn’t know the history of any of these items, because she “doesn’t like to read,” or something like that. She also bragged to me that she was anorexic as a teenager. She showed me pictures of her “anorexic” self, and I have to say it makes me really sad that people use an actual illness as a cheap attention-getting device, especially when they so clearly have no idea what anorexia is (hint, being a healthy weight is not anorexic). Anyway, she’s recovered really well from her imaginary anorexia, so there’s that at least. I suppose if she’s going to lie about having a devastating psychological issue, at least she can inspire ample inspiration for recovery. Actually, writing all this down, I kind of think she may have been projecting her own inadequacies onto me. That sounds so psycho-babble; do people actually do that?
For like a week after she called me white trash, I was trying to think of how that made sense. Then I realized I was trying to understand the mind of a person who collects trash, decorates her home with it, and brags about it. So I gave up and just decided to ignore her and avoid her if I ever see her again.

Another time, I met a chick who claimed she was a “psychic vampire.” Psychic vampires, apparently, are just like normal vampires except they feed on strong emotions instead of blood. She said my “happy, intense nature” drew her, which to my mind is absolute proof (as if it’s needed for this, lol) that she was not a psychic vampire because I’m pretty sure a psychic vampire would get sick off the mess of toxic neuroses and panic attacks that is my psyche. Anyway, she followed me all the way to the library where she bummed a smoke from me. Apparently my generosity in giving her a cigarette sent the clear message that I wanted to be besties forever with her, because then (unbeknownst to me), she followed me home (I walked home so as to avoid the bus. Joke’s on me). For a few weeks after that, she would show up at my house, all meth-addled and shaky, and try to bum cigarettes or food or money. I resolved the issue by cleverly hiding in my house and not answering the door. Eventually she stopped coming by.

And this, my friends, is why I generally avoid interacting or making eye contact with strangers.

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