Saturday, August 20, 2005

Murderball rocks and Seattle rolls

Seriously. You need to see this movie (check out Kid Sis' review on her site - it's under the July archives). I saw it yesterday and the film just blew me out of my chair. It busts every myth and assumption about disabled people you could imagine...

On the way back home, I remember why I love city life. It's midnight and we're riding the late bus cross-town to our transfer stop. At the front of the bus, a man with missing front teeth is swapping "what I did on crack" stories with a scruffy guy in a beret. There's a girl sitting across from us; based on the sexy black dress and heavy makeup, she's heading out for a night on the town. Suddenly, a skinny guy in his mid-30s pops his head into the aisle from the row behind us. He's been jittery since we hopped on the bus, and I can feel his knee jogging through the back of my seat.

He leans in towards the girl conspiratorily and says, "You know, I haven't told anyone this, because I just don't think I can trust people with my information. But I feel like I can trust you, I mean, really trust you, so I'm going to tell you why I disappeared for two weeks."

She blinks and nods warily at him, flashing that smile we've all had to give, the "Just do me a favor and don't ask me to give you my number" look.

He pauses and says in a low, earnest voice, "The reason I've been away is because I was in Puerto Rico, tripping on acid with a colony of spider monkeys."

Alas, we have to leave the bus at the moment of his disclosure, so we miss the girl's reaction. I can't even imagine what she came up with as a response...

We turn to cross a busy intersection. The light is about to change, and a couple of teens (boyfriend and girlfriend) on bikes roll into the crosswalk at the last minute. The guy makes it across, but the girl on the banana bike is...well...having problems. Her damned pedal won't stay under her foot, the little bastard, and so what else is she supposed to do but sit there and curse it? So, as her bike blocks the right lane, she futilely lifts her foot and slides it off again. Lift, slide. Lift, slide. After an interminable amount of time, the light turns green, and a row of confused minivans and SUVs slowly roll in her direction. Traffic is heavy; blocked by the steady stream of cars in the left lane, no one can maneuver around her. Meanwhile, she remains absorbed by her pedal dilemma, which had been complicated further by her inability to see it in the headlights' glare.

Finally, after about a minute, the Chrysler van in the front honks tentatively. Then a little louder.

Within a few honks, the girl figures out that she is somehow involved in the scene. She studies the white lines marking the crosswalk and apparently realizes her problem. By this point, a handful of sidewalk spectators are debating whether they should run across the street and push her out of the way. Maybe she'll just abandon the bike in midstream. Instead, she sweeps a mane of wavy blond hair off her shoulders, cocks her hat to the left and directs a long, defiant glare in the van's direction. The standoff lasts several seconds. The befuddled driver finally swerves around her, but five more cars endure the same ordeal, humiliated by the drunk-but-unyielding gaze of the bike girl.

Her boyfriend helps by shattering the night with a series of blood-curdling hoots from across the street. Finally, the light changes again and the girl manages to find her footing; she nearly rear-ends a parked police car, barely misses colliding with a cement wall, and weaves unsteadily into the night.

Apparently, whenever I'm suffering from writer's block, I should ride the late-night #26. Somehow, someday, these things will make cameos in my stories, just like my family's tattoo episodes and those "wish I could forget them" college moments.


Kid Sis said...

Wow. Overheard conversations rock. You should use that somewhere.

Bill Cunningham said...

You should come to hollywood - the circus is always in town...

Meg said...

I'd love to...I have friends there who always tell me very interesting stories when I call :)