On the Bus #5 – Bus Bandits and a Nauseous God

The only thing I really truly loathe about my bus commute with all my heart is the smell of disinfectant that wafts from the bathroom.

I don’t know who decided that this was a pleasant smell. Certainly, there are other ways to keep a bus bathroom fresh. We’ve learned to split atoms, let’s maybe refocus on bus bathrooms.

In order to not be the guy gagging for an hour and half on the bus, I have been trying something new. I bought assorted essential oils and a bunch of handkerchiefs that seem to have a western theme on Amazon Prime. Before getting on the bus, I unscrew one of the small bottles and discreetly dab droplets onto a handkerchief. Once I am board, I try to nonchalantly hold it up to my nose.

I’m pretty sure I look like a bandit with a popper addiction or a swooning old maid from a Jane Austin novel but at least I smell like calming lavender.

These are the moments when I am happy I am not single. At this point, I am fairly certain my prospects for finding a new mate would be dim. Luckily, my husband understands I would be petty, vindictive and litigious if he ever tried to divorce me so he tries really hard to find my quirks cute, appealing and sexy.

Meanwhile, my husband has other problems to worry about as he is going through his first midlife crisis. I realize now that if I was going to marry a younger man I should have gone way younger. An existential crisis can be a strain on any relationship that no amount of essential oils can help.

I did almost have a fling with a much younger man when I lived in LA before I was married. I somehow was convinced to let someone in his 20’s live with me rent free. When I told my sister about this, she was more than a little skeptical.

“You are a sugar daddy,”
“But we’re not having sex,” I protested.
“Then you are a dumb sugar daddy.”

She had a point.

It’s not that I can’t relate to my husband. My midlife crisis began in my early 30’s and is still going on with no end in sight. It’s another one of those cute sexy quirks I was telling you about.

Currently I am worrying about what I will do with myself if my job goes away.

Don’t get me wrong. I love my job. I would keep doing my job until I dropped dead if they would have me. But sometimes I worry that working in cable is like working as a bank teller in the 80’s or a Tower Record employee in 2005 or a streetwalker on the corner right before the internet. I recently spoke to a group of college students about my career and felt like I might as well be telling them about fax machines. I related to Joan Crawford and Bette Davis in Feud as they desperately tried to stay vital in their industry even when it meant giving up their dignity.

Now it’s possible I’m worrying about nothing. That is my favorite thing to worry about. If there is something unknown in the future (and what isn’t?), I will be sure to fill in the blanks with horrendous cataclysmic outcomes. If I do have to make a new resume one day, I will list CATOSTROPHIC THINKING as skill right under GOOD AT TYPING and COCKNEY ACCENT

I’ve recently considered becoming a grief counselor. I have had no formal training and would rather not spend the time or money getting formal training, but I’ve had a lot of sad things happen to me over the course of my life and am still standing so that should count for something. I do worry it would be kind of a depressing job though. Sad people can really be downers.

On a more serious note, a congressman was shot last week and everyone is going crazy about it on the internet. The last article I read blamed the liberals, Kathy Griffin and a play about Julius Caesar in New York.

I do wonder how this divisiveness on both sides is going to end. Now, I’m not naïve. I read a lot of history books and I realize that politics has always been dirty. People weren’t like “Lincoln is really awesome but I slightly disagree with his views on state rights.” I mean our country almost split in two for god’s sake.

Yesterday, someone form my high school wrote on Facebook that liberals are destroying and dividing the country and making God puke and the End of Days was coming. That stopped me in my tracks. With all the atrocious things that have happened in the course of our country’s history including that pesky slavery thing, is God really puking over me voting for Hillary Clinton, raising cats with my husband and not loving guns?

I mean, he is God. He seems a little sensitive sometimes. That is a tough job he took on– not for someone with a weak constitution.

Oh, and one other thing, I should NOT EVER be allowed to have a gun. I am highly volatile. I would be in prison for murder by the following week.

I wish I could help my husband get through the bumps of life and help God not take my left-leaning views so personally. The best I can offer the is some scintillating peppermint or relaxing eucalypts

You’d be surprised how a pleasant scent and silly bandana can make you a lot more forgiving of yourself and others.

Alright that’s it for now. Off to vacation. Try to enjoy summer! Do something creative! Don’t decide what God is thinking!

About the Author: Keith Hoffman is starting a business called GOOD GRIEF. Email him if you are sad but not depressingly sad.

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Keith Hoffman lives with his artist husband, dog and two cats in the small town Lambertville, New Jersey 72 miles outside of New York City. He has completed a memoir entitled The Summer My Sister Grew Sideburns.

One thought on “On the Bus #5 – Bus Bandits and a Nauseous God”

  1. This whole thing is so insightful. From my standpoint, I believe that God looks at all of us and shakes his head (like any parent would do) and he just says, “there she/he goes again, but that’s my kid and I love them regardless!” Also, I have a blend of essential oils I made that I call Happy and it helps make me just that 😊


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