bus driver who wanted to be god

So fantasy and mythology are full of signs that spirits are angry or demons are approaching are whatever, and it’s a great trope that I really like seeing, but all the signs are things like too much rain, not enough animals wandering by, crops failing, etc.  Which is great for rural-ish agricultural societies, but I want to see this trope moved into city settings.

I want denizens of a city to know a demon is active near their town because all neighborhood businesses start closing down, water mains keep bursting, and there are power outages everywhere.

I want fairies who move all the Divvies just before rush hour and fill the alderman’s office with forged paperwork from the IRS.  Who, when they’re appeased with gifts of bus cards and McDonald’s, will turn on the air conditioning in your house when you leave work, let in your Peapod driver and put away your groceries, take in your dry cleaning, and run your Roomba silently while you sleep.

I want shamans journeying into service tunnels to appease angry gods who have made all the buses late, emptied all the ATMs, and waylaid grocery delivery trucks on their way to the city’s stores.

“The best thing would be to stop reading here, because even though Eddie did get to the Dolphinarium on time, Happiness couldn’t come, because Happiness already had a boyfriend. It’s just that she was so sweet that she couldn’t bring herself to tell Eddie, so she preferred to stand him up.”

Etgar Keret, “The Story About a Bus Driver Who Wanted to Be God”

Let me know if you guys want a part two or not.

Oh god, am I going to be late? You asked yourself with slight panic racing through your body as you took a quick glance at your phone for the time. If it’s 9:10 right now and I have to be there at 9:45 and the route takes twenty minutes to get there then I’ll be there at 9:30, which gives me enough time to relax.. As you calculated the time you had to get to work, you entered the bus carefully and showed your card to the driver who greeted you with a tired grin.

Your eyes surveyed the scene as you looked for your usual seat. Great, someone’s sitting in it. With an exasperated look, you walked down the aisle and sat in a seat on your right that faced towards the back of the bus. While you fixed your ensemble, you breathed a sigh of relief now that you were able to relax a little.

For some reason, you decided to take a quick glance at the other passengers on the bus so you could take a break from looking out the window. As your eyes looked over all the people absent-mindedly, your eyes had caught the attention of some other bus-goer. He was a tall, lean little thing who was looking at you with a gleam of interest in his eyes. Out of embarrassment, you looked out at the window again, afraid that he might think that you were staring at him. He was cute.. Was he staring at me?

In the hopes that he had looked away too, you slowly tried to sneak a look again at where he stood, and found that he was doing the same thing out of the corner of his eye. When your eyes had met again despite trying to be sly, you both looked away, looking out the window as an excuse. Even though it was kind of embarrassing to have been caught, you still couldn’t help but grin to yourself thinking, He looked for me; and even though you didn’t know it, this man was smiling for the same reason.

The twenty minutes that it took to get to your destination had passed, so you got up from your seat with a little reluctance, collected your things and began to walk out. You thanked the driver for their usual service and made sure that you had gotten all your things, and started to walk off on your merry way.

As the bus drove off, your eyes looked up towards the bus windows in the hopes of seeing the man’s face once more. Just as your eyes had caught sight of him, you found that his eyes were searching for yours too as you both shared a few seconds looking at one another. When he looked at you he gave you a shy little grin, embarrassed that you had caught him. Before the bus went around the corner, you gave him a cute little wave that gave him a smile that matched his cute blushed cheeks and before the bus had driven away too far, your eyes trailed down to something tied down to his chest and found a nametag. Dan..

While the day flew past and you got your job done, there was always the thought of that cute boy at the back of your mind. You would think back to when he tried to shyly catch a glimpse of you and the way he smiled when you caught him. For now you had the memory of him. You noted how tall he was and how nice his hair was: not too long and the perfect shade of a chocolate brown. He was the tall, lengthy, shy and awkward boy of your dreams.

After all your work had been done, it was time to call it a night as you got your things packed and headed out towards the bus stop. Once you got out the door and struggled to hold onto your things, you looked at the bus stop hopefully since it was your ride home. However when you saw the door to the bus close, your heart sank to your stomach as you began to jog over to the bus, then sprinted in a matter of two seconds when it began to slowly drive away.

From inside the bus, Dan had seen you since the moment you got out your office door and saw the look of happiness frown away into shock as you saw the bus begin to slowly stroll away. Like a helpless bystander, he watched as you ran after the bus. Don’t just stand there, say something, he said as he scolded himself. He looked off to the front of the bus at the bus driver, then whimpered a bit in his awkward shell at the thought of talking to this stranger. He snapped his head back to you running after the bus, and for a moment just accepted that he couldn’t do a thing, but when he saw you fall a few seconds after, he ran to the front and tapped on the driver’s shoulder and said, “Stop the bus, someone just got hurt outside.” Without a second thought, the driver stopped the bus and let Dan run out and casually said, “I can only wait for you for five minutes.”

“Christ, my fucking ankle.” You barely noticed Dan running after you as you fussed about your ankle out loud, but as you took off your heels to simplify your situation, you heard him walking up.

“Are you alright?” Just as Dan had asked that he mentally facepalmed himself as he thought, Of course they aren’t, they fucking fell on the ground you idiot.

“Yeah, I’m alright just hurt my ankle I think.”

You stood up from the little tumble and dusted yourself off, then looked up to see who this kind stranger was. When you realized that it was the cute boy from earlier, you were pleasantly surprised that you got to see him again despite the situation.

“Here let me give you a hand so we can get to the bus.”

You linked your arm in his that he offered and tried your best to walk like you normally would. As you stood at the doorway of the bus, you knew that climbing up was going to be a little more difficult than walking so you stood hesitantly as you anticipated the pain. Dan could see your reluctance and whispered, “Hold on one moment.”

He was standing right in front of you, one step ahead. Before he did anything he looked at you and asked, “Is it okay if I give you a little lift so your job will be a little easier?” You nodded your head with a grateful smile and let his arms hold onto your sides gently. After all the work was done, he helped you over to one of the closer seats and sat right across from you so you could have your own section to rest your ankle.

As you two saddled up in your seats, you took a moment to look around the bus and saw a cute old couple in the back with a few other passengers who looked like students.

“Hey this is my seat!” you exclaimed excitedly as you noticed where you were sitting.

“Pardon?”

“Oh, this is like my usual seat. Someone was sitting in it today actually.”

While he listened to you the faces he made for those brief seconds amused you as he started off looking at you with confused interest then transitioned with a cute nod and the look of comprehension.

“Thank you for helping me, by the way,” you made sure to say.

“No problem,” he replied with a light-hearted smile as he recalled his little predicament before he saw you fall.

Your eyes trailed over to his name tag and smiled at the opportunity as you said, “So your name’s Dan?”

He smiled down at his name tag with a goofy grin and nodded his head then looked over at yours and said, “And yours is (y/n)?”

For the rest of the twenty minutes it took to get to your house, you both chatted up and talked about who you were, what you did, and even exchanged numbers so you both could continue talking. You could see your little house coming up from down the street and looked at Dan with a reluctant smile as you said, “My stop’s almost here.”

When it was time for you to get off, Dan kindly offered his arm for yours to link and walked towards the exit slowly with you at his side. Like before he held onto your sides so he could make the trip down the steps a bit easier, and before he got out the bus he looked at the driver and said, “Can I get another five minutes?” The driver nodded his head, and while you and Dan walked towards your door he muttered under his breath, “Just in case he drives off like a mad man again,” getting a hearty laugh from you.

Before you went into your house, you gave Dan a grateful hug as you said, “Thank you so much for everything.”

“Thank you for not thinking I was some creep. You know, the awkward staring and stopping a bus to help you… Sounds so bad when you say it out loud.”

You laughed at his adorable cringed face and playfully hit his shoulder to say, “Hey you weren’t the only one staring.”

He looked at you with a pleasantly surprised smile, almost like he was feeling shy again now that you had flirted with him.

“I’ll see you tomorrow?” he asked just before you went into your house.

“And I’m looking forward to it,” you said with a smile.

For a few brief moments you both just stood there smiling at one another like fools until you both realized what you were doing. Like the awkward dorks you two were, you both began to chuckle lightly from the embarrassment of realizing that you two were just staring at one another. Before you closed your door, you hopped out a bit and chimed, “Goodnight, Dan!”

“Goodnight,” he called back, “I’ll see you tomorrow,” and as you closed your door and he stood in the bus, both of you smiled as you thought to yourself, It’s a date.

~requested by anons~ 

gif by: ladyscandal

READER HOROSCOPES FOR DECEMBER 2016

Your literary solutions for another planetary revolution

SAGITTARIUS

Whip out the candles and deck the halls, Sag, because it’s your month to celebrate! Sure, it’s always been kind of a bummer that your birthday month falls in the middle of the biggest holiday season, but the party only stops if YOU let it. You’re in control here, and this month, you’re going to get an extra dose of that independent spirit that you’re so known for. And what a time to shine - as wave after wave of holiday party invitations roll in, you’re going to be rubbing shoulders with all sorts of people, including some potential project co-collaborators! It’s a good thing you’ve found the energy and drive to look the seasonal blues in the face and say, “Thanks, but no thanks,” because your creative juices are flowing and your birthday month falling on the last month of the year tends to bring out your “never say never” spirit. This is the perfect time to dive into (or begin a long-overdue reread!) of your lucky book, which is all about the various places that life can take you when you have a dream, and which people in your life will accompany or abandon you in the pursuit. Who do you want to surround yourself with as you get ready to embark on a new creative adventure? How do you see your relationships adapting to where you envision yourself being in five years, or ten years? If that question is too heavy for this month of socializing, partying, and vision board-ing, be sure to pick up your lucky book for that dose of inspiration and warning you need.

Lucky Book: The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer

 

CAPRICORN

You do not suffer fools this month, Cap, and it’s the best kind of intimidating. Maybe it’s all of those post-turkey naps, maybe your brilliance just needed a chance to shine extra bright, but either way: you’re firing on all pistons and keeping everyone around you on their toes. You’re blessed with an abundance of great ideas, and you’re having no trouble communicating them. Quite the contrary: it seems that there is a direct line of clarity from your brain to your lips, so relating how you’re feeling and what you’re thinking is much easier and more effective than usual. You have something in common with the main character of your lucky book, Javier Mallarino, who is nationally known for sharing his opinions and feelings in a way that everyone can understand, but not necessarily agree with. Just like him, it’s up to you to figure out how and when to wield this gift so that you do not make enemies of people who don’t appreciate being told your truth. How can you remain authentic to yourself without sacrificing key relationships and alienating unsuspecting strangers? What is more important to you, speaking your mind, or keeping those bridges unburnt?

 Lucky Book: Reputations by Juan Gabriel Vásquez

 

AQUARIUS

 It’s never too late, dear Aquarius! That is your personal mantra for the month of December, as you make one final, desperate attempt of 2016 to accomplish all that you set out to do this year. Sound overwhelming? It is, of course, but you’re more than up to the task. You only have a year’s worth of built up momentum, so you shouldn’t be surprised by the burst of energy that’s in store (if it hasn’t already kicked in yet)! Considering the myriad distractions of this holiday season, it’s quite an impressive feat, crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s of your personal to-do list for the year - but on the other hand, you’re well aware that for you, it’s now or never. You don’t want to drag the baggage from this year into the next, and for that reasoning alone, you’re truly going to enjoy your lucky book. The narrator is a woman who was raised by her mother to sit back and wait for a young rich man to sweep her off of her feet and cater to her every need…until reality abruptly sets her straight in adulthood. Once she realizes that her daughter is going to need the learn the lessons that she never did, she owns up to her ignorance and resolves to begin anew, doing the hard work that is necessary to be the kind of person she most wants to be: a successful, empowering role model for her child. Perfect morale-boosting reading during those few and far between downtimes this month!

 Lucky Book: Please Excuse My Daughter by Julie Klam

 

PISCES

 All work and no play makes you a very unhappy Pisces, isn’t that right? As the stars would have it, the world is your oyster this month - or, more accurately, your playground! Life tends to get pretty hectic this time of year, but that’s fine, because you’re having a ball! Between parties and brunches, interviews and meetings, you’re in your element as a networker and socialite, and it’s completely invigorating. There’s no better time to dive into your lucky book for this month, an illustrated history of popular entertainment that makes the case for play. Seriously. Believe it or not, that’s what’s behind the allure of so many products and innovative practices we enjoy today: someone, at some point in history, derived the idea for it from an fun activity or concept. So you can say goodbye to any lingering feelings of guilt for enjoying yourself rather than keeping your nose to the dull grindstone day in and day out. Amusement and laughter are essential to the spirit of creativity that keeps modern society afloat, after all.

 LUCKY BOOK: Wonderland by Steven Johnson

 

ARIES

 Well, hello there, Aries! Feeling feisty today? Mm-hmm, we can tell. This month you’re all about the real talk, and we can’t really blame you - the past few months have had you a bit more subdued and insular than usual. December tends to bring with a feeling of finality, of a grand finish, and in order to feel prepared for the ending of this year and beginning of the next, there are some things you would really like to get off your chest. We support you unburdening yourself for the sake of your mental and emotional well-being, but Aries, please - not at the expense of those around you. There is a fine line between telling it like it is and just being mean. To give yourself some much-needed levity to balance the storm of emotions that you’d like to proclaim to the world, find a quiet corner to commune with your lucky book. It’s a collection of short stories that quickly and incisively cuts to the beautiful, often nonsensical truths of everyday life. While not 100% true to reality, they are 100% true to emotion, and that is exactly the kind of honesty you need right now.

 LUCKY BOOK: The Bus Driver Who Wanted to be God and Other Stories by Etgar Keret

 

TAURUS

 Taurus, it’s cold outside… All the more reason to stay in and cuddled up with that special someone! This month, you can’t be bothered with all of the hustle and bustle that the holiday season inevitably brings. Spending an hour in line only to be told the cashier is no longer accepting credit cards (and not an ATM in sight), succumbing to the pressure to stroll through a holiday market and ending the evening cold and broke, buying an ugly sweater for a party that you’ll never wear again - why suffer through any of this, when you have the indoors, and streaming services, and a cutie to enjoy both with? Relationships are your specialty this month, so go ahead and lean into the lovin’! Of course, if you’re not feeling the romance, maybe your creative or business collaborations could use a bit more TLC. Either way, no matter where your affections lie, you’ll want to soak in the deliciously dysfunctional tale of Mathilde and Lotto: half epic romance, half cautionary tale. A perfect one to binge on when you’re avoiding the outdoors.

 LUCKY BOOK: Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff

 

GEMINI

 Oh, Gemini, you saucy minx. With 2016 nearly gone, why not turn on your seductive powers and see who you can lure in? You’re grown bored with playing it safe and responsible - time to rip up the playbook and have some fun before the ultimate Sunday night blues of a brand new year begin to creep in. This is a great time to start casting out feelers for who you’d like to join your inner circle, so by all means, cast away! Just be cautious when it’s time for the reeling in - living life with reckless abandon comes at a price, and you can’t get off to a fresh start in the new year with new friends or partners that don’t feel entirely safe or supportive. So often the wires between love and relationships and friendship can get blurred, crossed, and impossibly knotted - better to exercise a bit of caution now (just a bit!) to avoid a mess later. If you don’t believe me, turn to your lucky book of the month, a short story collection that explores the earnest messiness of life and the hilarious, heartbreaking, harrowing ways we choose to deal with it. Adventurous and cautious (but curious) Gems alike, you don’t want to miss this one.

 LUCKY BOOK: Barbara the Slut and Other People by Lauren Holmes

 

CANCER

 Cancer, believe it or not,  you’re really giving Gemini a run for its money with this dual personality stint this month! Is it that end-of-year pressure that has you feeling erratic and ready to risk it all? Or are you simply following every impulse, no matter how soft or loud? One day, you’re feeling generous and at ease, totally in tune with the rhythms of the universe and humming alongside precocious woodland creatures. The next, the storm clouds develop and you somehow find yourself hate-stalking your exes on social media. What gives? While this sort of emotional leap-frog can be disconcerting, rest assured that it won’t last for too long. And remember that there is no “bad” emotion - everything you feel is valid, and worthy of examination. Just be mindful of how you act out those emotions. Do your best to keep yourself balanced - too much false positivity or rampant negativity can leave you feel distinctly unsettled and unlike yourself. And who are you, really? The narrator of your lucky book this month will give you an absolutely spellbinding peek at how we think about ourselves and other people - how can we be sure that the ‘truth’ is not simply our perspective? Who is to say what truth is? Every relationship we have with someone is a transaction - not only in emotions, but in our shared experiences and how we remember them. No matter what mood you find yourself in from day to day, this is a book you’ll want to have close by for instant grounding.

 LUCKY BOOK: All Men Are Liars by Alberto Manguel

 

LEO

 Aw, Leo, aren’t you just a doll? With your fresh rosy cheeks and eyes all aglow. No wonder you’re having to balance so many date night requests - you’re irresistible! Enjoy this magical time of flight and fancy, Leo. A, you deserve it, and B, isn’t time you let yourself unwind and have a little fun? That may mean venturing outside of your usual prescribed boundaries for potential partners…but go on, live a little! Try to follow where your impulses take you, rather than sticking to the status quo you’ve become so comfortable with. With all of that romantic energy buzzing around inside of you, why not take a risk and see what happens? Your lucky book this month revolves around a number of different relationships, and the ways that courage, persistence, and pure want can influence our actions. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, but when you decide to try something new, the results are never boring (although, at times, they may cost you). Enjoy yourself this month, Leo - it’s way overdue!

 LUCKY BOOK: Modern Lovers by Emma Straub

 

VIRGO

 Well, the weather outside may be frightful, but you know what’s just delightful? Your couch. Your snuggie. That brand new carton of eggnog. Oh, and the fire, of course. As far are you’re considered, ‘tis the season to kick up your feet and enjoy the creature comforts of home, and anyone who thinks otherwise is free to get loud and rowdy elsewhere. October and November were particularly trying, for a multitude of reasons, so this month you’re ready for a slower pace, some quiet reflection, and about one hundred sprawling naps. Five holiday party invitations per day aren’t fazing you this time - you’re hitting decline, decline, decline without a care in the world. And if you get the urge to see some familiar faces, invite the gang over for an intimate gathering in your space, and enjoy the lack of spilled drinks and conversations that need to be shouted to be heard. And in the quieter times, when your guests have dispersed and the only sound you hear is the cold wind howling in the trees, find a warm spot to curl up with your lucky book, a brilliant and breathtaking reimagining of Snow White that will turn your recollection of the titular cartoon film on its head. Sometimes the best way to re-center and reflect on the state of the world and ourselves is to escape into a fantasy world that echoes our own in ways we don’t expect – and believe me, this book is more than up to the task.

 LUCKY BOOK: Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi

 

LIBRA

 Libra, Libra, Libra. Repeat after me: WOOSAH. WOOOOOSAH. Try not to let the frenetic pace of the holiday season mess with your head. I know everything feels a bit crazy right now - you’re balancing work, family plans, holiday travel, gift lists and time is just flying by. How did December get here so quickly? How is this already the end of 2016? What have you even done this year? (Woosah.) See how easy is it to spiral? But guess what: letting your anxiety take the wheel, however sensible it may seem in the moment, is rarely a good idea. Indulging in that kind of stress will only leave your brain feeling like scrambled eggs, and you’ll feel so much better, on a daily basis, if you manage to hold it together, figure out a system to keep all of those balls in the air, and stave off the inevitable burnout. And if you’re desperate for a pick-me-up amid the exhausting madness, your lucky book is here to save the day: a fascinating, high-energy, totally bad-ass story about two women in late eighteenth-century England who join what is essentially a fight club. That got your attention, didn’t it? Every time you’re tempted to dwell on the million and one things you have to do, focus instead on the task that’s right in front you, and then the one after that, one foot after another. When you’re no stranger to truly harsh circumstances, as these two women are, that’s the only way to survive.

 LUCKY BOOK: The Fair Fight by Anna Freeman

 

SCORPIO

 Scorpio, has anyone told you lately that you’re positively glowing? Not surprising, as this is your month to finally shed that outer layer of anxiety and embrace the fun that life has to offer. Remember that? Fun? Listen, we know you’re devoted to your job, and it’s very admirable. You’ve been working hard, trying to hit your year-end goals, and crushing it. Seriously! So isn’t it time to relax, just a bit? Stop turning down your coworkers’ invitations to hang out and go enjoy that happy hour deal! Or the Love Actually trivia night that you know for a fact a handful of your friends would win in a landslide - why not make a night of it? In a world that feels increasingly manic and disjointed, and during a season that tends to bring you very low if you’re not already feeling pretty high, be sure that you’re doing what you can to take care of you. Life is meant to be lived, so why not live it the best way you can? Your lucky book for this month will be a timely and poignant reminder of exactly what it is that you’re living for, and why it’s so important to do what you can, while you can. Keep that glow, Scorpio, and don’t feel guilty about allowing yourself to enjoy the ride once in a while. You’re only going to get one.

 LUCKY BOOK: On Living by Kerry Egan

Hozier is OUT OF CONTROL last night he gave OVER TEN THUMB UPS and then at the very end of the concert he THANKED LITERALLY EVERYONE HE THANKED THE BUS DRIVER* AND ALL THE LIGHT TECHNICIANS AND EVERYONE BACKSTAGE he was like give a round of applause for LITERALLY EVERYONE WHO HAD ANY HAND IN THIS SHOW because everyone deserves credit and he wanted to make sure they got it i swear it was too much to comprehend he is so kind and good and humble and he was all smiles and eyebrows and bent knees and puns** LITERALLY the best concert ive ever been to better than i could imagine anything could be ever i swear to god i swear holy shit his voice is so much different in person you wouldnt even believe its so beautiful and clear and his band is so UNBELIEVABLE everything was 10/10 there was so much talent little green cars WERE MINDBLOWING OH MY GOD i wish i had listened to them before so i could have appreciated them better so pretty everyone was so good

* his introduction was something like “and of course, thank you to the man who really keeps the wheels going around on this tour”

** at one point he was like, “people on the balcony, how are you doing tonight?” And they all started screaming and jumping and stuff and he went “You look great. You look lovely. Is that a new top? You look great.”

Also a man kept coming out beforehand to do sound check and he was like average height and he had to like tilt the mic down and stand on his tip toes because it was set so high because he is a large beanpole