January 2nd, 2003


Running into the past on the bus

A fuzzy memory: It was my first or second year of college. Jules and I were waiting for the bus after school to head to the mall. We were alone at the stop except for a man in a wheelchair. He said "hello" and it was kind of obvious that he was at least a little mentally retarded. Actually what he first said was "Hi". We said "Hi". He asked what our names were, we told him, he told us that his name was Keith when we asked him. Both of us were pretty used to dealing with people like him, it was no big deal. We hoped that he'd leave us alone after. He continued to talk to us, I don't remember what about. He wasn't just blabbering nonsense but it wasn't a super intellectual conversation either. He also kept wanting hugs and would try to pull us on his lap. He tried more often with Jules, I was a little bigger and refused. We continued to chat with him, to be polite and such and then the bus came. He asked us to help him onto the bus, he was taking the same one we were and didn't really have anyone else to do it. We agreed and he asked us to stay with him on the bus and help him off at his stop (which happened to be the same as ours). During this whole time he kept asking to give us hugs and we complied, no big deal. He may have asked to kiss Jules and she said no. Or maybe he asked her to be his girlfriend, I can't remember. Anyway, we get off the bus and help him off and are about to head off. He asks us for one last hug. I'm not sure who he hugged first, if it was me or Jules. I remember how the hugs went. He tried to kiss Jules and pull her on his lap, I had to help her break away. I should have jumped in sooner than I did. Whem he hugged me I made sure my head was turned (it may have been due to what happened with Jules) and I braced myself so that the hug would definitely be short. Overall I managed but I did have a bit of difficulty breaking it off and I did get my ass grabbed.

Now, I do not remember this well at all, kind of a vague sense of events. I'd really just forgotten about it.

Today I am waiting for the bus at Mission Valley Center. There is a man in a wheelchair, seems like he may be kind of retarded. I think nothing of it, just hope he doesn't decide to start talking to me because I'm not really in the mood. My bus arrives, I get up to board it and I pass him. He says, "Hello", I say "Hello", and move into the small line to board the bus. "What's your name?" "Christi, what's yours?" "My name is Keith." I'm boarding the bus at this point and I remember the sandy hair, the blue eyes. I nearly freeze as the snapshot pops into my head of talking with him years ago. Vague memories come back, an incident, a single incident that I had forgotten about.

And I feel a bit of fear once again and I feel like a dumb-ass for feeling this fear. I mean, overall, would this guy have really hurt someone? Wasn't a large part of it the fact that he probably didn't know better? Shouldn't this really not be an issue, just someone to remember to stay clear of? Then again, his mentality was probably that of a young child. A young child that should know the difference between right and wrong. A young child who should know the meaning of "Stop". Jules thought that he was much saner than he acted, he emphasized the helpless retarded thing to get gilrs close enough to assault. He was certainly rather strong, I remember hugging him the first time and thinking that I didn't think he was that strong. I'm not sure that it was really some diabolical plot the way Jules seemed to. However, I think he knew what he was doing. Should he have been reported to police or was this more an instance of an obnoxious retard? I still don't know.

I know that we shouldn't have stuck around when we began to feel uncomfortable. Of course it didn't help that we didn't really have anywhere else to go. We could have waited for a later bus though. We certainly shoudn't have agreed to continue to give him hugs when they began to make us feel uncomfortable. We shouldn't have worried about upsetting him while we ignored our own feelings of discomfort. We should have listened to our instincts, without worrying about upsetting him or leaving him helpless. I mean, he was mentally deficient but hell, he seemed to be taking college classes.

We should not have ignored our own instincts to take care of a fuckin' stranger.

It's funny, the memory of the event itself was fuzzy when i saw him on the bus today but my reaction to it at that time came back to hit me with full force. I remember the event a little better now but it's still fuzzy. I still remember how I felt afterwards, that's crystal clear. I still wonder if maybe I'm over-reacting, I mean he may not have known what he was doing. I'm still not sure.
  • Current Mood
    kinda shaken

Yeah, yeah, yeah, New Years' musings to come later.

Out of the things I wanted to get done today I got . . . ah . . . two things done. Grrr . . . perhaps I should have listened to my boyfriend and left with him this morning, maybe that would have helped. ~ponders a moment~ I'm not so sure.

I can be a real pain in the ass in the mornings. It can just be so damn hard for me to get up. I like to say I'm just not a morning person but . . . I'm not sure that's all there is to it.

Not having a car is really, really getting to me. A month and a half if all goes well . . .

I'm reading Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel right now. Really good book. I'm finding myself identifying with it. A lot. This was not what I was expecting when I began the book. Of course, it isn't quite to that extreme but the feelings she describes . . . yeah. It's made me think about some things, about my own mental state, my own bouts of depression. I was thinking a lot today about a lot of things. I had a realization . . . I have been depressed for quite some time. I guess that's not the realization so much, just realizing it's been pretty ongoing since it began. I mean, it's not like I'm always depressed, it's really on the contrary, but there are periods of it. Hrmmm . . . I think I need to get my thoughts a little more in order about this.

Ok, that is about all for now. Had a lot more to say but . . . well, it's a lot of random thoughts right now. Perhaps I'll get it a little more figured out soon.

I hope you all are well.