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Tells it Like it Is on the #4 Line: 4/8/17, Noontime, North Point Boulevard, Dundalk, Baltimore County, Maryland

Rita is about 60, white hair brushed neatly to her shoulders, possessed all of her front teeth, has gray-blue eyes, a straight nose and is of a fit build. Her voice is free of the hollow heroin drawl that afflicts most white bus patrons, but is of a scratchy, though not shrill, timbre.

I can’t stand the idiots who ride this bus—not you, I like you. These others, like this squirrely, jabbering moron that just sat down next to me, who is going to get his lights shutout if he doesn’t keep his paws to himself, they are not only stupid but they know how to pluck a nerve. And they all want sex—well they can get re-acquainted with their hand. They can go to hell and I’m the gal that’s willing to send them there.

Have you ever noticed how stupid all of these people—especially the so-called men—are around us?

No? Well, then you’re nice—a nice fella. But you can afford to be because you’re a man with strong hands to wring their chicken necks and punch out their numskull lights.

Me, I’m a girl, the worst thing to be when you have no money—especially in Baltimore. Look at that shit, those big McHouses over there. Shit, I wouldn’t buy one of those things for anything. They’re putting those things up so that they can bring in more of those hoodrats from out of the city to take a girl’s—purse or at least try to until she stabs their stupid ass—what are you looking at?

The black man slides lower in his seat and attends to his smart phone.

If you gave me one of those houses I’d sell it for half price and move to Virginia—where I came from, back I’d go. Baltimore is a hellhole—look at all of these dopers, and drunks and morons, would you. That’s right, you’re Mister Nicey-Nice, and maybe you can afford to be. Reading a book, aye? That makes you the only one. You’d have trouble lighting a match if you rubbed all the brains on this bus together.

[Laughter from the author]

I’m serious, Mister, I tell it like it is and if you don’t like it, you can get off the bus—look at this moron next to me—keep your hands to yourself if you want to keep all your fingers, fool. You have to carry something in your hand at all times, like a soda, and throw it in their face, then beat the shit out of them while they’re covering their eyes.

The author’s stop is coming up and he rises.

Your stop too, ha, Mister. Okay, I trust you.

As the bus pulls off the author looks next to him at Rita with her many bags.[/ITALIC

“I like your style, Rita.”

What’s that, a proposition?

You better be warned, I tell it like it is. Back when I still tolerated men I had this one fella—an idiot who could barely manage himself between the sheets—look at me and say, “Aren’t I the best lover you ever had?”

That was a fool thing to say to me, because I tell it like it is, and it wasn’t much! If I’d a known he was goin’ to ask that I’d a said earlier on—well, never mind.

The author hitches on his backpack and waves goodbye with a parting word as he crosses the street, “I’ve never had the courage to ask that question myself.”

Then a wise one you are, Sir. Have a good day and keep those hands to yourself.

On Bitches

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