The Intern: Volume VI
A Brief Encounter with Loca
I boarded Bus 766 the other day and sat on the elevated seats above the middle wheels— an important detail because these seats face their opposite counterparts in a vicious sort of intimacy. You can’t quite smell the breath of the people sitting across from you, but you can smell their armpits and that qualifies you to eavesdrop on their conversations.
“Hey, Pedro, what up?”
“Ohhhh, nothing much, how’ve you been, girl?”
“Oh, pretty good, but you know, I got kicked out of St. Martin’s?”
“Oh, no. That’s terrible. What happened?”
“Oh, you know. There’s that fat lady in the shower—you know the one.”
“No, I don’t.”
“Well, I wasn’t done with my shower, and she was messing with me, and I was like, ‘Hey, back up, I’m almost finished,’ and, well you know, they don’t call me Loca for nothing. That’s going on two weeks ago.”
“Aw, man, that be trippin’.”
Loca is at least 50 or 60 years old, but her clean-shaven legs, orange tank top and bleach-white capri’s help her pass for anywhere between 35 and 70 years old. It's her bleeding rose tattoo that pinpoints her real age—an sheer indicator of a midlife crisis.
Pedro, on the other hand, is way too cool for school. His muscle shirt, jeans and boots combo makes him a tough character in the world of public transportation. I could tell you by the glint in his eyes, but they remained hidden behind his Lance Armstrong-inspired sunglasses.
“And then I had a heart attack and a stroke, so I quit doing that," Loca continued. "I did a little weed, but I quit that, and I quit drinking, too ... Oh, what up, Mario? Hey there, handsome ... but it’s the cigarettes that are killing me. I gotta quit them too, or else I’ll have me another heart attack.”
Mario’s dressed like he’s vacationing in the Pocono. He wears dress pants and socks with nice leather shoes and a Hawaiian shirt that’s buttoned all the way up. Top that off with a Stetson hat, a gold watch dangling from his wrist and a massive knee brace that is several sizes too big. He even has a Nintendo-inspired mustache.
“So was the car hers or yours?” Loca asked Mario.
“It was hers,” he answered.
“You know, Mario, you can go to a psychiatrist if you want, but man I don’t need none of that. But if that’s cool for you, whatever. I don’t need to go to some shrink, give him all my money, just to find out what’s wrong with me. I know what’s wrong with me ... what’s so funny?” Loca said, realizing I was laughing.
“I think you’re right,” I said. My eavesdropping operation had been discovered.
“Exactly! I mean, if I want to talk to someone, I’d just as well go up to some stranger on the street, like this dude,” she said, pointing to me, flaps of skin flopping under her arms, “so he won’t have to take all of my money. Now I have to go and try to get me back into St. Martin’s,” she said, getting off of the bus. “Peace out.”
They don’t call her Loca for nothin’.