The Gospell According to Andrew and the Captain

You know, I think this bus,

is going to take me,

to where I want to go

-Pete Townshend The Magic Bus

 The typical chatter and groan on the after work bus helps pass the time on board. A lot of people try to disengage from arguments and senseless prattle but you can look in their eyes and tell it’s sinking into the cortex. Your only escape comes at the hand of a set of ear buds cranked up full volume or some heavy shut eye meditation but even those techniques were hard pressed to work for anyone on board my bus this evening. Two elder gents were going at it in a verbal tennis match to the delight of all. My initial reaction was to pull out my Ipod and dowse my ears with some Stone Temple Pilots jacked up full blast but their banter sucked me in. I listened in on some back and forth remarks about the President and that piqued my curiosity.

These two were quite a pair. One was this mature, medium build black man with a demonic looking short white afro. His debate partner was a thin framed white man with a permanent wrinkle for a face that looked the same whether he was laughing or grimacing. The white man asked Demon Afro what the President had done for him to make his life any better. Verbal jabs were thrown back and forth with a friendly nature and before long they noticed me gazing in on them. This was the black man’s cue to drag me into the conversation. Why not, I thought. I can listen to the Temple Pilots anytime, this could get good. I’m not one to shy away from crazy as I’ve been around it so much now days that it seems as everyday to me as the bus ride itself. We traded some small back and forth and out of the blue the man leans over to me and says “look here, why don’t you join us for some coffee and we can talk some….maybe you can fill me in on what the hell’s wrong with this country.”

“If you’re buying I can talk for a little while. I’ve got a transfer and can catch the next bus.”

All three of us get off the bus next to a small coffee bar called the Coffee Beanery and stroll inside as we exchange formal greetings. The black gentleman, who was the more assertive in conversation, reached out to shake my hand. “My name’s Andrew and this is Kenny-but everyone calls him Captain.”

I hate shaking hands but didn’t want to seem impolite. I looked at the thin white guy. “Why do they call you Captain? Are you a Captain?”

“I was” he said. “I used to run a boat down in Louisiana but moved up here years back to take care of my brother. He died and I never went back.”

After five minutes of conversation the bottle came out and they both poured some cheap bourbon into their coffees. They offered me some but I passed.

“I’m trying to slow down on liquor because of my heroin problem”. I meant the remark as a joke but it was taken at its word. “You need to quit that shit “Andrew warned me. “That shit will kill you. I had a cousin that started that stuff and it killed him. Took him down a piece at a time.” The Captain nodded in agreement, his face a highway of lines. Most people would back away from these two and maybe I would have if I had less tolerance of the street crazy, so I got the conversation back on track of politics. I wanted to know their perspective on the upcoming election. The Captain seemed more apathetic, he didn’t think anyone was going to do anything for him. Life was full of useless bullshitters in office and none of them told the truth. Andrew held hope that someone would do something, but he wasn’t sure who that someone was. He brought up the president’s name but there was no homage, no strong affiliation to the man. It was as if he felt he had to say he supported the president because to deny support meant failure to his entire race-a misconception if there ever was one. He felt white people want to call out black people because Barack Obama isn’t living up to 100 and ten percent of his campaign pledges. What the hell does Andy think has been going on in this country prior to Obama being elected? How many past Commanders have we had that swore they wouldn’t cum in our mouth and then wham-jizz sandwich. Anyone who expects any elected official to do everything they promised-50 percent of what they promised-needs to re-evaluate true statistics and know that it’s just not possible.

So what did Andy and the Captain think of the Republican hopefuls. Andrew’s eyes widened which made him look even crazier. “That man, Rick Santorium (that’s how he pronounced it-San-Tore-Ee-Um) is a crazy motherfucker that wants to make this whole country Catholic.”

The Captain’s face winced (I think). “He ain’t no Catholic you dumb-ass, he’s like a Baptist or something.”

“Well he still wants to change everyone in this country to a Christian or something.”

“Well you’re a Christian, what the hell’s your problem.”

“I ain’t no Christian. I converted to Islam.”

Kenny cackled at that one. “You ain’t no damn terrorist. You don’t even go to church.”

“All I know is that Santorium is dangerous…am I right Dave?”

I sipped on my coffee. “They’re all dangerous. Look at Gingrich.”

Andrew’s eyes grew into golf balls. “That motherfucker is crazy. If he ever got elected I would be the first nigga out of this country and on my way to Cuba.”

“Cuba don’t want your black ass” the Captain smiled.

“Who the hell you think lives in Cuba dumb ass? You ever seen Cubans? Them motherfuckers is black as me.”

I was busy scrawling down key points of our conversation on napkins for later reference, trying hard not to lose focus. The bus would come soon and I felt I hadn’t yet captured their whole take on the political scene.


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