Carless in LA, The Wong Sans Wheels Chronicles #13: Always Tell the Truth, but never tell it on the bus…
August 7th, 2009 → 1 Comment
Yesterday, I found out what it was like to be the crazy lady on the bus.
A woman at the bus stop was making conversation with me. She started by complimenting my heart shaped sunglasses. I decided to turn off my ipod shuffle (which was playing MP3s from T. Harv Eckler’s “Secrets of a Millionaire Mind”) and make conversation with her. After all, I am supposedly going through this carless martyrdom to create a show about my carless martyrdom. This discussion with this stranger was all part of my “oral history gathering.”
She told me she’s going through a divorce and her husband is taking the car. I explain to her that I used to have a pink Mercedes that ran on vegetable oil but it caught on fire on the 405 and I decided to go carless because of car-owning phobia and also because I travel the world half the year so no need to own a car.
Then she tells me that she’s a student a UCLA. And like the overcompensating egomaniac that I am, I volunteer my story: “Oh yeah? I went to UCLA too! And last year they invited me to be the commencement speaker at the English Department graduation!”
And then she shoots me “the look.” A look I’ve often given to other people on the bus.
It was the “THIS BITCH IS OUT OF HER MIND” look.
Can I blame her? I’m this messy haired Asian girl with heart shaped sunglasses, pulling around a suitcase filled with VHS tapes (I’d just come from converting them into DVDs at the SAG Building), yet somehow she is to believe that I’m a world traveller? I’m listening to self help recordings on how to be a millionaire (not that she would know this), I’m talking about my pink car that ran on VEGETABLE OIL, my car ownership phobia, and how I was once the commencement speaker at UCLA… and worst of all, I’m telling her all this ON THE BUS.
Why does the truth always sound like complete horseshit when told to you by a stranger on the bus?
I wasn’t sure if I should keep talking at that point. Because any more truths about my life would only sound more crazy given the setting of the moving bus which already implicates unreliability and insanity in the truth teller.
“What do I do for a living? I’m a PERFORMANCE ARTIST!”
“What’s my next show about? Cats! Pick-Up Artists! And Cat pee!”
“I made a yoga bag out of my old pants!”
I sat quietly in my seat, awkwardly waiting for my stop to come up, pretending I was distracted by my Ipod shuffle so I wouldn’t have to talk more. I gave her a sloppy wave goodbye as I exited the bus. I don’t know why I did this, perhaps to further add to the illusion of my insanity.
So ok. We can’t trust every thing we hear from a stranger on the bus. Can we trust what we hear from a stranger on the plane? Can we trust what we hear as it comes out of the mouth of a stranger standing next to his pimped out ferrari? Can we trust what we hear from an established corporation with large buildings and thousands of employees across major metropolitan cities…. Like AIG?
I thought that I could trust the hipsters at Lovecraft Biofuels to sell me a good car and make good on fixing it so that it was safe to drive. I thought, Why would eco-hipsters lie and swindle me? But they did.
Can we trust any stranger in transit who tells us something?
And the most important question of all…
Why do I insist on overcompensating for my lack of car by offering up laundry lists of my previous achievements to complete strangers on the bus who are probably in the same situation as me?
Category: The Wong Sans Wheels Chronicles