Public Transport

I was vaguely intoxicated, sitting on the bench at the bus stop. Drunk on too much rosé, the sweltering heat and the overpowering fragrance of jasmine in bloom. I silently cursed the architectural genius who opted for transparent plexiglass as a shelter for public transportation users like myself. I was frying like an egg in a pan. Beads of sweat welled up under my padded B-cup, trickling down behind my knees. The thin fabric of my summer dress began to cling to my skin. I imagined myself getting up to board the bus with my dress lodged tightly between my butt cheeks. I tried to come up with a plan as to how I would yank down my dress in an elegant way, or how I would pretend not to notice, as if it was fashionable to have clothing stuck in your ass. Then the bus came and interrupted my thought process.

If you have never had the pleasure of riding a bus in the south of France in the summertime, let me tell you, you don’t know what you’ve been missing. I live on the coast, a fairly thin strip of land between the Mediterranean and the Alps. Traffic is mostly east-west and since the geography of the region does not allow more roads, well, it is a challenge getting around. Even if you drive, which I don’t. The buses are packed with tourists who fear missing their stop, impolite teenagers who would rather lose their IPhone than give up their seat to an elderly woman A blind elderly woman! And other stragglers like myself, just normal people trying to get from one point to another.

I got on the bus and the general mayhem aboard made me forget about my “Dress in Ass Dilemma.” It was standing room only. Even the aisle was packed. A cacophony of several different languages being spoken all at once blended poorly with the strident cries of an angry toddler. I slid as delicately as possible between the damp bodies, my hand clutching the rail, my armpit and my ass both terribly exposed to the various faces they grazed, as the bus driver peeled out like a Formula One driver. Everyone was jolted a bit to the left. I managed to work my way to the middle of the bus next to the exit. A momentary haven.

A haven in public transport jargon just means that you have found adequate space to avoid smelling a fellow human being. I smoke a lot so I can find havens in rather small spaces. Smoking kills your sense of smell. Although I kept being trampled by people eager to get the hell off of that bus, I was feeling pretty optimistic. Life was good…and then a woman got on the bus through the exit door. She was pushing a huge stroller. Her baby might have been cute if he just once ceased to wail. As for her stroller, I immediately wondered if she was planning on taking it and her offspring on a trekking expedition in Nepal. Maybe she intended to introduce her progenitor to the beauty of Mount Everest. At any rate, she would have been prepared for the journey.

The bus driver then slammed on his brakes. The sturdy front wheel of the stroller careened towards me, biting into my calf. I was knocked off balance and suddenly, my back side was smashed against an incredibly promising variety of turgescent members. Despite my weakened sense of smell, I caught a whiff of virility. Then it was as if someone had turned off the volume. Everything went silent, everyone else on the bus, on the earth, on the entire planet just faded away.


      • Dawn D

        Lol!! I have never been in combat, and hope never to have to go. But I’ve taken public transports my fair share, and it is indeed a promiscuous place, whether you like it (look at that hit young thing, what is it in his pocket? Oh, it’s not in his pocket?!) nor not (the insistent creep who keeps rubbing himself against you because he ‘can’t keep his balance’) 🙂
        Bisous to you too

      • Dawn D

        Well, I think French cucumbers are a bit too long for it to be realistic. Unless you’re faced with fireman Sam of course!
        Nah, a pickle would probably be more plausible 😉

    • pivoine68

      Thank you Sandée! I was so happy when I realized that “turgescent,” was a word in English too! A good word in my book. 🙂


  1. Jayne

    It was as if I saw it happen in slow notion as you wrote. All of a sudden, your dress was brighter, your hair more golden and your eyes as they turned to pin the turgid men’s faces, lit up like the sparkle on ocean outside you. You need to write stories more because I love your writing. It’s very descriptive and fun – like a movie. xo, Jayne

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