Tonight a man, maybe sixty years of age, boarded the bus and sat in the back near me. He had a droopy moustache, tattoos all over his arms and shoulders, was wearing sunglasses, a wife-beater T-shirt, and khakis, and was carrying a cane, a backpack, and a plastic bag full of toilet paper and unshucked ears of corn.
He fumbled around in his backpack and produced an empty plastic bottle, then began shifting his weight around uncomfortably. He then whipped it out and with difficulty began to fill the bottle with urine. In all the filthy, disgusting years I’ve been a passenger on Capital Metro, I think this is the first time anyone has violated the unwritten “no genitalia” rule–at least in my presence.
That the bus stopped and took on more passengers, one of whom came down the aisle and sat opposite him, did in no way affect what he was doing. I had the good manners to turn my attention to a stack of sketches I had with me until he finished his business.
Afterwards, the man replaced the top to the bottle, and stuck the bottle into his backpack. Thirty seconds later he fished out what I hope was a duplicate bottle, this one half-filled with a golden liquid that may have been–must have been–apple juice or sports drink, and took a long guzzle on the contents.
The shocking thing to me was not so much that people have started eliminating their bodily wastes on board the bus, but that I was so relatively unfazed by it happening.