That day, the bus line was not my friend. Oh, it started out well enough. I hit the 205, debated whether I wanted to try to figure out where at the college was early voting, or go to an easier spot. I set my mind on going to a public library on the 104 line. Not only could I do my civic duty, but there was the ‘Rich People’s’ Dollar Tree near it. It is next to the wealthiest gated community in town, and unlike any other Dollar Tree I’ve been to, there is no frozen food section, which makes it have more different things sometimes. (Unlike any other store with ‘Dollar’ in it, Dollar Trees don’t pop up on every corner in poorer neighborhoods, and wealthy people seem to like them as much as us poors. YouTube is filled with housewives in well appointed homes raving about their Dollar Tree finds as though it was from Pier 21. I digress. Dollar stores now are my raison d’être, and I could pontificate on them for quite awhile).

Only 2 more buses to go. 101, which goes through the worst part of town and the 104, which goes through the best. Two men, no masks to be seen, got in front of me. I decided perhaps it wouldn’t be rude to change seats. The driver of the 101 is kind of a douche anyway, and he’s ensconced in Plexiglass, so why would he care if the fellows weren’t following the mandate?

I settled behind a masked woman reading a pocket Gideon New Testament, her braids piled into an elaborate, impressive bun above her head.

When I got on the 104, the driver waited until every other bus had left the station before announcing that the bus was having trouble and we would have to wait until Maintenance arrived. A bus that usually goes to the university, swung us around. I went to the Board of Elections instead. The wait was about 15 minutes. The pen was brand new. A sign warned constituents not to dare even use any electronic device or take photos. Under penalty of law. Fascists. I sized up the people around me and felt “democrat” vibes. Here’s hoping.

Felons for Biden

When I got out, I realized I needed to walk up to a far away bus stop to get home. I made it with time to spare, but the 107 NEVER CAME!

I called the station and got the hateful shit who sometimes answers there. “The bus is supposed to be at the station now. Satellite tracking for this bus isn’t working. And this is the last bus,” he said in his best “fuck off” tone.

I contacted my friend and begged for Lyft fare (she owed me her half of our shared Sling TV subscription. She was still mad at me for being annoying or alive or something, but she acquiesced.

As now there was no particular hurry, I sauntered over to yet another Dollar Tree. All’s well that ends well.


My therapist was visibly angry when I told her what happened Monday. I haven’t been able to function much since my friend let me have it.

Sunday night, we went to trap cats to spay/neuter. She used carriers instead of traps because she felt it was more humane since they’re friendly strays.

My friend left the cats there overnight at the nursing home where the cats lived because she felt that would be kinder than taking them back to her house .

When she returned Monday morning, one cat had got out, so she took the remaining one to the clinic along with one of her cats.

I should have known I was in trouble when I didn’t hear from her and no answer to calls or messages.

At the clinic, my friend had to wait outside with the cats. The stray saw a German Shepherd and tried so hard to get out of the carrier that somehow she succeeded and was gone, never to be seen again. 

I didn’t think I could be blamed for this one. I was wrong.

I was with my worker that Monday morning and my worker knows both the cats and their mentally challenged caretaker, so I told her of the nice thing my friend was doing.  When I heard what happened, I accidentally said I wish I hadn’t told my worker about it.

My friend’s reaction was instant. “Instead of flapping your mouth to her, you should have wished you had been there to help me. If I had extra hands this wouldn’t have happened. “

If I had known she wanted/ needed me, I would have told my worker not to come, and I didn’t offer because my worker was coming at 10 am!

I could feel myself actually becoming angry. “It’s not my fault,” I messaged.

“Nothing’s ever your fault,” was her reply. Then she said she would try to never go to a southern run place if she could help it.

And that’s the last I heard from my friend. I spend so much time trying to avoid her anger, and yet I never can. I’m sure Oscar felt the same way, and the only way he escaped was death.

She’s my only friend. I honestly don’t even know if I got mowed down tomorrow if she’d care beyond finding someone to feed the strays I feed for her. Forty-two years on this planet and this is all I have to show for it.