Thoreau’s Bastard Chapter 3


I awoke on the Collins bus to a solid, regular thumping. I glanced up from the tan sofa to see a police officer pounding on the window with a gloved fist. At first I thought it was still night, then I realized that the window tint was blocking out the sun. Burying my face in my arms didn´t make him disappear.

Finally I opened the window with one hand. I stuck my head out and smiled.

“Good morning, officer. Can I help you?” I said, hoping that yesterday´s Circle-K burritos were kinder to my breath than they had been to my stomach. The officer didn´t say anything but instead reached for my face. With two fingers, as a princess might pluck a rose, he peeled a Burger King receipt off my forehead. Apparently my sweat created a fine adhesive, transferring blue and red printing to my skin.

He handed me the moist receipt. “This your bus, sir?”

“Well, actually, no. But I am authorized to use it.”

“Can I see your driver´s license, please?”

I frisked myself for my wallet, pulled the license out, and handed it to him. “You see, we rented the bus. It´s not — ”

“I know it´s not stolen; I already ran the plates. But you can´t park here. This is a private lot.” He glanced at my license, then handed it back. “Move it out.”

I nodded and promised to move it immediately. I crawled back into the driver´s seat and drove three blocks to my apartment. I left the bus across the street in a reasonable approximation of a parallel park. My first stop was Dave´s…