Suddenly I realized where I was at and like a quickdraw artist in a cowboy movie my hand flew up and pulled the cord to stop the bus. I got out just in time.
Another few seconds and I would have missed my stop.
Dreaming of Babylon is a tricky business.
One miscalculation and you're blocks beyond your stop.
Fortunately, this was my last bus trip and I wouldn't have to worry about missing my stop anymore. Thank God. Once I went all the way to the end of the line dreaming of Babylon and I didn't have enough money to get back and the driver wouldn't let me ride for free, even after I had explained to him that I didn't have any money and told a lie to him, that I had fallen asleep.
"I hear stories like this all the time," he said, with a remarkable lack of concern for my plight. "You can't ride my bus with stories for a fare. I want a nickel. If you don't have a nickel, get off my bus. I don't make the rules. It costs a nickel to ride. I'm just a working stiff, so get off my bus."
I didn't like the way the son-of-a-bitch kept saying "my bus" as if he owned the God-damn thing.
"Do you own this bus? I said.
"What do you mean?" he said.
"I mean, do you own this bus? You keep saying 'my bus' so I thought maybe you owned the fucking bus and you take it home with you and sleep with it. Maybe you're even married to it. This bus is your wife."
I didn't get to say anything else because the bus driver knocked me unconscious with one blow right there from his seat. It was lights out. I came to about ten minutes later, sitting on the sidewalk, leaning up against the front of a drugstore.
To have the perfect ending for a bus trip was what woke me up. It was a dog peeing on me. Maybe he thought that I looked like a fire hydrant. Anyway, those days were over. I had eight hundred bucks in my pocket and this had been my last bus trip.
When I got off the bus, I turned around and yelled "Fuck you!" at the driver. He looked bewildered. It served him right. No more dogs were going to pee on me.