La Dreamer and Stone Face: A Love Story
In another story, in another world, she would have swept gracefully into the scene. But that would be literature. Fiction. This is a true story.
That being said it wouldn’t be fair to say she lumbered either. It was something in between. Let’s try this:
La Dreamer trotted up the bus steps and down the aisle surveying her surroundings. Not with a sense of royalty but with something similar. A sense of entitlement. Her drawn on eyebrows bowed down as her forehead creased in frustration. Most all the seats were taken and with this came a second realization; this was going to be a long ride. A very long ride. Pardon the expression but “comfort was going to take a back seat.”
She chose the only available position, a seat directly behind Stone Face.
Stone Face had already chosen his seat six hours and 300 miles earlier…much to the chagrin of the young man next to him. He’s a big man. Much bigger than the “average person” the designers had arbitrarily calculated around decades earlier when the enormous motor coach was first built. As a result he tended to ooze toward the window seat unbidden. For hours this continued and like any great plate of melting gelatin he continued to spread outward. Slowly at first but all too suddenly suffocation seemed imminent for his neighbor.
La Dreamer tells her story.
“F*ck! When is this f*ckin’ bus supposed to get to Portland?”
“Doesn’t matter sweetness. You’re stuck now. You’ll get there the same time as the rest of us.” More solid logic has never been uttered by a man with a ponytail. “What’s your name, darlin’?”
“My real name or what I go by?”
“What do you go by?”
“La Dreamer. LA Dreamer.”
“I don’t understand.”
“I never give out my real name. I just go by La Dreamer.”
“Okay…” he struggles to use her nom de guerre but it’s a losing battle. “darlin’ –” Immediately cut off his job now is only to sit and listen. To all of it.
“I have to be in f*ckin’ Hillsborough for a court date tomorrow.” The next hour brings with it a full picture of the world La Dreamer has created around herself through sheer force of arrogance. A guided tour through a gallery of bad decisions. “This is only my second offence but it’s a f*ckin’ attempted murder charge.”
“Should’ve f*ckin’ let my sister fight her own battles!”
“My first offence was f*ckin’ armed assault and I’m f*ckin’ on probation right now.”
“Can’t plead ‘not guilty.’ How do you accidentally f*ckin’ shank someone!”
“I’m not supposed to leave the state, but f*ck that!”
One seat ahead, Stone Face’s angry glare remains the only immobile portion of his body.
Minutes tick by like hours, hours like days…
“Hey!” La Dreamer begins shouting. Again. “Hey! You! You have a pen?” She’s addressing the poor kid now pressed tightly against the window, surrounded by Stone Face. Eager to shift weight and have an excuse to come up for air he turns.
“Lemme have a pen.”
Without wasting precious breathe on a “please” or “thank you” she puts the pen to use endlessly tapping the back of the hapless pen owners chair.
“When’s this f*ckin’ bus get to Portland?”
Eager to be helpful again the pony-tailed Samaritan chimes in. “It should be in Seattle around seven o’clock.” And is quickly rebuked.
“F*CK! It’s a three f*ckin’ hour– It’s a three hour f*ckin’–” La Dreamer interrupts herself twice, spots a six year old across the aisle and composes herself.
“It’s a F*CKING THREE HOUR DRIVE FROM SEATTLE! I’M NEVER GOING TO GET THERE!”
Stone Face, snapped out of his self-imposed coma, looks back…and smiles.
The rest happens quickly. A McDonald’s food stop is the perfect pretext to switch seats. Before the universe has time to do a double take Stone Face and La Dreamer have found themselves in each other’s arms. The transformation is astonishing. Beneath a blanket cuddled up Stone Face looks like a giddy man-child. His grin creates a visage worthy of a Baby Huey cartoon. All that’s missing from his over-sized frame is a bonnet, perhaps a beanie with a propeller attached.
Finally able to breathe deep, the kid one seat up reaffixes his worn green hat and settles into a Mark Twain tale dreaming of a trip to Gibraltar as described by the American author…until the moaning starts.
Followed closely by the sudden and repeated seat kicking. Luckily, this doesn’t last long as they seem to settle down. Or maybe he just tells himself they’ve settled down. No matter, eventually the scene changes once more.
On the phone La Dreamer screams at an ex-boyfriend. The whole bus listens in not because they want to but because they have no choice. The one sided battle rages on for close to half an hour before the borrowed cell phone is snatched back. She lowers her drawn on eyebrows once more and glares at the man audacious enough to reclaim his own phone.
“F*ck! Fine! Whatever!”
Reminded of borrowed objects the kid in the green hat starts to think that maybe a crossword will help to pass the time. He turns to the snuggling couple, both banes of his day’s existence in their own right.
“Hey, do you mind if I get my pen back.”
“I don’t have it.”
“What do you mean you don’t have it?”
“I think I laid it down somewhere.”
“Well, can you go pick it up somewhere now?”
“I don’t know where I f*ckin’ put it.”
“Okay…then do you have a pen I could borrow?”
“Ha! No! I borrowed yours!”
“Yeah. I know. You suck.”
Resigned to his failure he slides back into his seat as he sees La Dreamer and Stone Face slide back into each other’s arms. They look longingly and smile. He overhears her words spoken softly.
“Why’s everyone so f*ckin’ hostile on this bus?”
If you like the stories you could always buy me a snack!
Don’t let me stop you.
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